Fadnavis orders SIT probe into Maharashtra journalist's murder

Fadnavis who is also home minister on Saturday asked the authorities to constitute an SIT led by a senior police officer to carry out the probe into Shashikant’s murder and submit the report.

Published: 11th February 2023 04:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th February 2023 04:38 PM   |  A+A-

Former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis

Maharashtra Deputy CM Devendra Fadnavis. (File Photo| PTI)

Express News Service

MUMBAI: Under pressure from the opposition, Maharashtra deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday announced SIT (Special Investigation Team) probe into the alleged murder of Rajapur-based journalist Shashikant Warishe.

Fadnavis, who is also the home minister, on Saturday asked the authorities to constitute an SIT led by a senior police officer to carry out the probe into Shashikant’s murder and submit the report.

The 48 years old Warishe was mowed down by the Thar jeep driven by Pandarinath Amberkar. The victim was dragged a few meters and was abandoned with serious injuries before local people rushed him to the hospital where he later succumbed.

The local people said that Shashikant worked with a Marathi daily Mahanagari Times. He did extensive reports on issues relating to the proposed Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited plant at Barsu in the district. This refinery project is being opposed by a large section of people over fears of pollution in the Konkan region.

Shashikant wrote several articles against the property agent Amberkar and his malpractices. It has been stated that Shashikant’s article against Amberkar with the latter's alleged closeness to Prime Minister, Chief Minister and Fadnavis had infuriated Amberkar.  So he plotted to kill Shashikant. After the murder, Amberkar fled the spot.

Meanwhile, the  Opposition upped the ante against Fadnavis on Saturday. Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut wrote a letter complaining about the law and order situation in the state.

“Journalists are murdered in broad daylight. The accused has been claimed to be close to BJP leaders including Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde faction," Raut said.

Leader of the Opposition, Ajit Pawar said that this case should be properly investigated. He said that the state government can't delay the probe. 

The police registered a case under Section 304 (Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) against Amberkar. Earlier police refused to charge the culprit under these sections, but after pressure from the journalist associations and NGO, they altered the section.

Earlier, the media organizations such as Vidahan Mandal met Fadnavis and demanded a probe. They also protested at Gandhi statue near Mantralaya and demanded charging the suspect under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). Further, they demanded Rs 50 lakh financial help for the next of kin of Shashikant Warishe.


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