Goa right-wing groups attack editor for talk show comments


Panaji: Hindu right-wing groups in Goa Friday evening made an effigy of an editor of a popular Marathi news channel and slapped it with footwear in public, after accusing him of misrepresenting facts on desecration and thefts in temples in Goa in a talk show.

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Nearly 500 members of the Sanatan Sanstha, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) and the Gomantak Mandir and Dhaarmik Sanstha Mahasangh (GMDSM) also accused Nikhil Wagle, editor of news channel IBN-Lokmat, of “insulting the feeling of Goan Hindus” in his daily talk show “Aaj Cha Sawaal” (Today’s Question), before slapping the editor’s effigy with footwear.

“He has denied the reality that 50 incidents of idol desecrations have taken place in Goa in the last six years. Nikhil Wagle has outrageously said that there were no thefts in Goan temples,” said Jayesh Thali, convenor of the HJS in Goa, referring to the programme first telecast Jan 21.

“Wagle has insulted all the devotees by stating that there had been no attacks on temples in Goa. Wagle’s denial shows how the religious feelings of Hindus are being scornfully ignored and trampled upon by the so-called secular media,” spokesperson of the GMDSM Rajkumar Desai said, urging people to ‘boycott’ the Marathi news channel.

Thali also accused Wagle of pinning down Sanatan Sanstha spokesperson Abhay Vartak in a corner during his show, which forced Vartak to quit the recording midway.

Wagle in his Jan 21 programme, which followed the verdict in the Graham Staines murder case, said that there were no reported instances of attacks on temples in Goa.

The criticism of right-wing groups comes on the heels of nearly 60 reported incidents of thefts and desecrations in temples and other places of religious worship over the last two years.

After a spurt in such incident in 2009, Chief minister Digambar Kamat ordered the formation of s special investigation team (SIT) to probe the break-ins and desecrations, which Kamat had then said were being carried out to create communal disharmony in the state.