Under fire for failing to prevent the attack on Nikhil Wagle’s car by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers, the Pune City Police issued a statement saying that the senior journalist dodged them by changing routes while en route to attend the 'Nirbhay Bano' public meeting organised by Rashtra Seva Dal in the Dandekar Bridge area.
"Wagle had made a controversial post due to which the atmosphere in Pune was surcharged. When he reached the city, our police officers went and informed him about the surcharged atmosphere and told him not to leave for the venue till we advise him so, since there was a large number of agitationists around the venue. He was told that he should leave only after the process of detention of the agitationists was complete," read the statement.
"A group of approximately 25 agitationists were detained until around 6pm, and the process to detain more was ongoing. He still insisted on leaving though the police tried to convince him to hold on for some time until we secure the area. He was also informed that due to heavy traffic on the streets, the process of detention was slow and it was getting difficult to use force. He left for the venue against our advice and in fact dodged the police by changing routes. Still, our plainclothes men were following his car to keep him secured," it added.
It further read, "When the car was attacked, the plainclothes men were there between the agitationists and his car but due to heavy traffic and bystanders, it was not possible to use force nor possible to evacuate him and his car on an immediate basis."
Meanwhile, 10 BJP workers were arrested on Saturday in connection with the assault. The arrested individuals were named Deepak Pote, Ganesh Ghosh, Ganesh Sherla, Raghvendra Mankar, Swapnil Naik, Pratik Desarda, Dushyant Mohol, Datta Sagre, Girish Mankar, and Rahul Paygude, and they have been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code related to rioting and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.