New Delhi: Vikram Joshi, the Ghaziabad based journalist, who was shot in the head on Monday night by a group of men who assaulted him in front of his two young daughters, succumbed to his injuries early on Wednesday morning, according to an Indian Express report.
“He is no more. He passed away at around 4 am during treatment at the hospital,” a family member said.
Joshi had been attacked four days after he had filed a complaint with the police against some men who allegedly molested his niece.
“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,” Joshi’s brother Aniket Joshi told Hindustan Times.
In CCTV footage, Joshi is seen riding a two-wheeler accompanied by his daughters. He is stopped and assaulted by a group of men who begin beating him. One of the men fires a gun at Joshi and he falls to the ground. The assailants then flee. Joshi’s daughters rush towards him and cry for help.
“We received information around 10:45 pm that a Pratap Vihar-based journalist, Vikram, has been shot at. Senior officers rushed to the spot and the victim was admitted to hospital. Within a few hours, five persons were taken into custody; in the afternoon, four more were arrested. The main accused, Ravi, also a resident of Pratap Vihar, confessed to us that he orchestrated the attack and carried it out with his accomplices,” said senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ghaziabad Kalanidhi Naithani.
Joshi’s family has alleged that the police did not investigate the initial complaint that Vikram had filed and that the police only inquired about the whereabouts of the accused but did not find them, according to the Indian Express. NDTV reported that the family has also claimed that Joshi’s death is a result of police incompetence.
The police have admitted that its response to Joshi’s complaint was lax. “We are very strict when it comes to crimes against women. The family approached them with a case of molestation. The accused had also filed a counter FIR, alleging they were assaulted by Vikram’s relatives. But the policeman should have acted swiftly since it was a crime against a woman,” said Rakesh Mishra, circle officer (city 1st), Ghaziabad.
The booth in charge of Vijay Nagar police station, where the complaint was lodged, has been suspended for alleged dereliction of duty pending an inquiry.
Priyanka Gandhi, the Congress’s UP in charge, has attacked the Yogi Adityanath government in the state, likening the situation to ‘jungle raj’. “Ghaziabad is in NCR. If the law and order here is such, one can guess how it must be in the entire state. One journalist was shot because he complained against the eve teasing of his niece. How can a common man be safe in this ‘jungle raj’?” she said.