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Political activists attack editor's home in response to critical article

(IFJ/IFEX) - The following is an IFJ media release:

IFJ Condemns Attack on Home of Journalist in India

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns an attack by political activists on the home of Kumar Ketkar, editor of the Marathi language daily Loksatta, in the western Indian state of Maharashtra on June 5.

The All-India Newspaper Employees' Federation (AINEF), an affiliate of the IFJ, joins this call for action.

The attack in Thane, a city adjoining the greater Mumbai region, was carried out by activists of a political group known as Shiv Sangram. Police have detained seven people.

The attackers were reportedly responding to an article in Loksatta that criticised a decision by the Maharashtra state government to install a 94-metre-high statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji, ruler of a medieval kingdom based in the Marathi cultural region, off the coast from Mumbai.

The editorial, it is understood, described the government's decision as a cheap way of gaining political mileage.

Ketkar and his wife, who were at home during the attack, were unharmed. However, extensive damage was caused to property.

The IFJ and its affiliate organisations urge authorities in Mumbai and Thane to investigate the attack and ensure the perpetrators are brought to justice according to due process.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries.

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