Journalist Shashikant Warishe died after covering anti-refinery voices

Journalist Shashikant Warishe, who made several revelations about the Ratnagiri refinery project in Maharashtra was killed in a traffic accident.

Warishe, who is survived by his mother, wife and 19-year-old son, worked for a local Marathi newspaper and had been covering issues related to the creation of Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) in Barsu, which is being opposed by some of the locals.

Shashikant Warishe, known for his many revealing articles on the pro-farmer campaign and the proposed refinery centre, was a journalist for the ‘Mahangari Times’.

Varishe was struck by a speeding vehicle on Monday afternoon, which reportedly turned out to be one of the supporters of the refinery project.

Following this, Warishe was taken to the hospital in critical condition, where he breathed his last on Tuesday morning. Describing Warishe as a brave reporter who fights against injustice, MAVVS and MMPS urged the government and police to take this incident seriously, properly investigate the matter and take strict punitive measures against the culprits.

On Monday, Varishe published a report in the local newspaper Dainik Mahanagari Times in which he referred to Amberkar as an “accused in serious offences”.

Amberkar has been booked by the police several times in the past for intimidating and assaulting people who initially opposed the Nanar refinery project and now the Barsu-Solgaon refinery project.

Media groups demand investigation

Several media groups including Mantralaya Ani Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh and Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh have called on the government to carry out an impartial investigation into Warishe’s death.

Questions are raised about the accidental death of the journalist because a few days ago he had reported on the Ratnagiri Refinery project.

Mantralaya Ani Vidhimandal Vartahar Sangh (MAVVS) and Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh (MMPS) also mourned the death of Shashikant Warishe, a journalist working at a local newspaper published from Ratnagiri.

The Mumbai Marathi Journalists Association MMPS also sent a letter to Chief Minister Eknath Shinde and Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, calling Warishe’s death a “heinous murder” and demanding a thorough investigation and arrest of the culprits as soon as possible.

Accused arrested

Dhananjay Kulkarni, the Ratnagiri Police Superintendent, told Indian Express that the accused was arrested immediately after the incident and taken to court which placed him in police custody until February 14.

“As soon as we learned of the incident, we jumped into action and located the defendant at night and arrested him. We filed it in court on Tuesday morning. The court granted him police custody until February 14. He is being investigated further,” Kulkarni said.


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