Pune: BJP’s Opposition to ‘Nirbhay Bano’ Event Leads to Confrontation

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Pune, 9th February 2024: Tensions rose as workers from the BJP and opposition parties clashed during the ‘Nirbhay Bano’ event held at Pune’s Sane Guruji Smarak auditorium near Dandekar bridge today evening. The event, organized by activists including Vishwambhar Choudhary and human rights lawyer Asim Sarode, faced threats from the BJP’s Pune City Unit due to the participation of journalist Nikhil Wagle. Wagle, a vocal critic of the BJP government, had recently stirred controversy with remarks about BJP leader LK Advani receiving the Bharat Ratna award.

Dheeraj Ghate, President of the BJP’s Pune City Unit, had vowed to prevent the event and requested the city police to deny permission. Opposition parties, including the Congress and AAP, intervened, ensuring the event proceeded and providing security for the speakers.

On Friday, supporters from both sides, along with “Nirbhay Bano” volunteers, confronted each other at the venue, which was heavily policed. Slogans echoed through the air, with BJP workers chanting ‘Nikhil Wagle Murdabad,’ while opposition members countered with ‘Jai Bheem’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai.’

Opposition leaders, including Mohan Joshi, Ramesh Bagwe, Avinash Bagwe, Abhay Chhajed, and Manas Kambale, made their presence felt at the venue. The event commenced late as the main speakers, Wagle and Sarode, faced delays in arriving.

Congress MLA Ravindra Dhangekar and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) member Rohit Pawar, from the Sharad Pawar group, also attended the event.