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UP journalist shot in head in front of daughters dies; Opposition slams ‘goondaraj’

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh after the family and many journalists held a protest outside the hospital this morning. They held a sit-in and didn’t allow to take Joshi’s body for post-mortem.

SNS | New Delhi |

UP Journalist Vikram Joshi, who was shot in head by armed assailants in front of his children near his residence in Vijay Nagar, Ghaziabad on Monday, died on Wednesday.

Joshi was attacked when he was returning from his sister’s house along with his two daughters on a motorbike on Monday night at around 10.30 pm. He had suffered a bullet injury on his head after assailants opened fire at him near his residence, which got captured in CCTV camera.

The doctor of a private hospital monitoring the scribe said that the veins in the journalists’ head had got badly damaged due to the bullet injury. He was in critical condition when admitted at the hospital.

The attack is believed to be the fallout of a complaint that Joshi had lodged at the Vijay Nagar police station on July 16. He had complained that some people were harassing his niece.

In the CCTV footage, the bike can be seen being intercepted by a group of men who surrounded the bike, and started pulling and hitting the rider.

The two daughters of Vikram Joshi could be seen running away the moment the bike falls.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with this case; one man is still on run, officials said.

Meanwhile, two policemen including  local beat in-charge Raghvendra was put on suspension with immediate effect for not taking swift action and ignoring the complaint filed by the family of the victim.

“Nine people have been arrested including two main accused – Ravi and Chotu. A weapon was also seized from their possession,” Kalanidhi Naithani, Senior Superintendent of Police, Ghaziabad, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh after the family and many journalists held a protest outside the hospital this morning. They held a sit-in and didn’t allow to take Joshi’s body for post-mortem.

Joshi’s brother, Aniket Joshi had said, “A few men were harassing his niece a few days ago and my brother had opposed it and also filed a police complaint. A case was also registered following which he was shot at by those miscreants.”

The journalist’s family has accused the police of inaction as the complaint was lodged on July 16 after a scuffle between Joshi and the miscreants.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today hit out at the UP government over Joshi’s death. He took to Twitter and said(in Hindi), “Journalist Vikram Joshi was killed for protesting against his niece’s harassment. My condolences to the bereaved family. The promise was for ‘Ram Rajya’ but  ‘Goondaraj’ has been delivered.”

BSP chief Mayawati also reacted on the incident. She took to Twitter and in a series of tweets (in Hindi) slammed the Yogi Adityanath government. She said, “Across the state of Uttar Pradesh, the manner in which killings, crimes against women are on a rise, it makes it clear that that the “Jungle Raj” and not law is governing the state. More than Coronavirus, people have become vulnerable as the virus of crime spreads. The government should pay attention to this.”

“My heartfelt condolences to the family of Vikram Joshi, a fearless journalist who passed away today. He was shot in UP for filing an FIR to book his niece’s molesters. An atmosphere of fear has has been created in the country. Voices being muzzled. Media not spared. Shocking (sic),” West Bengal Chief Miinister Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

Meanwhile, yesterday Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also attacked the Uttar Pradesh government over the law-and-order situation in the state following the incident.

“Ghaziabad falls in NCR. Going by the state of law and order here, one can get an idea of the situation in the entire state of UP. A journalist was shot at because he complained to the police against molestation of his niece. How will common man feel safe in such a jungle raj,” she had said in a tweet in Hindi.