- Vikram Joshi was attacked by a group of men near his home
- His death has triggered sharp reactions from several opposition leaders
- The state government has announced Rs 10 lakh for the family
A journalist from Uttar Pradesh, who was shot at in Ghaziabad near Delhi on Monday night in front of his two daughters, died this morning at a hospital. CCTV footage showed the journalist, Vikram Joshi, lying on the road, wounded, and one of his daughters weeping, screaming around for help.
Vikram Joshi was travelling on a motorcycle with his two daughters when a group of men assaulted him and opened fire at him at around 10:30 PM on Monday.
Nine accused have been arrested; one man is still on run, officials said. Two policemen have been suspended. "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 Rs 10 lakh for the family, which protested at the hospital where the journalist died and refused to allow the body to be taken for post-mortem.
Vikram Joshi paid the price of police incompetence, the family claimed. Four days before the Monday night attack, he had complained to the police about his niece being harassed by a group of men.
Ghaziabad: A group of journalists hold protest against the murder of Journalist Vikram Joshi.— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 22, 2020
Vikram Joshi passed away today. He was shot at in Vijay Nagar area on 20th July by unknown persons. 10 people have been arrested in the case so far. pic.twitter.com/TZjjiMqv00
In security footage of the attack, a group of men can be seen stopping the journalist a short distance from his home.
The bike can be seen swerving suddenly and in no time, the attackers surround the bike, drag the journalist off it and hit him. His two daughters can be seen running in panic. The group of attackers can be seen dragging Vikram Joshi towards a car and thrashing him before running away from the spot.
As the injured journalist falls to the ground, one of the daughters comes back to him; she can be seen crying and looking around for help.
The journalist's death has triggered sharp reactions from several opposition leaders. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi today tweeted: "Vikram Joshi was killed because he protested against his niece's harassment. Condolences to the bereaved family. They promised Ram Rajya and delivered Goondaraj."
"Across the state of Uttar Pradesh, the way killings, crimes against women are on a rise, it makes it clear that that the law of jungle is prevailing in the state. More than coronavirus, people have become vulnerable as the virus of crime spreads. The government should pay heed," BSP chief Mayawati tweeted in Hindi.
"The BSP demands that the grieving family should get the compensation - promised by the state government - at the earliest. It will be better if the family doesn't have to run from pillar to post to get the compensation," the former UP chief minister wrote in another post.
"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.
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.— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) July 22, 2020
Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also criticised the UP government over the attack. "After raising his voice against the sexual harassment of her niece, journalist Vikram Joshi Ji was shot in front of his daughter. Today, he died due to his injuries. The Jungle Raj (the law of jungle) in UP has increased to a point where the common people fear the goons after making complaints against them. The BJP government, like its predecessors, has failed to ensure law and order in the state" she tweeted in Hindi.