No Country For Journalists: Ghaziabad Journo Vikram Joshi, Shot in the Head in Front of Daughters, Dies

Social Commentary

No Country For Journalists: Ghaziabad Journo Vikram Joshi, Shot in the Head in Front of Daughters, Dies

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

In a shocking incident and yet another attack on journalists in India, a media person was shot in the head in Uttar Pradesh died on Wednesday at a hospital. Vikram Joshi, a journalist with Dainik Jansagar Today, was riding his two-wheeler when he was shot by assailants at 10.28 pm in Ghaziabad’s Vijay Nagar area. He was accompanied by his two daughters, who were seen leaning over him and crying for help in the CCTV footage.

Joshi was undergoing treatment at a private hospital, where his condition was said to be critical. Nine accused have so far been arrested in the case; two policemen have been suspended.

According to reports, the group was standing in the middle of the road. The assailants pinned Joshi against a car, hit him and then fired at him.

What complicates the case further is the fact that the assailants might have been known to Vikram Joshi and his family. The journalist had filed a police complaint a few days prior, against a group of men for harassing his niece. The police is probing whether the attack is linked to the complaint, although Joshi’s family believes it is.

The Indian Youth Congress used it as an example to attack the Adityanath government.

In an interview, Anila Singh, a BJP spokesperson, termed it an unfortunate incident, but insisted that the police had moved swiftly and had apprehended the accused. Akhilesh Pratap Singh, a Congress leader, however, differed from her opinion. He labelled the UP government, a “criminal-friendly government”, and said that since the government followed a policy of praising and rewarding criminals, instead of punishing them, it will only embolden them.

Joshi’s death predictably drew a lot of attention and distress, particularly from the media community.

For some, it is an example of how UP government’s claims of improved law and order had been laid to waste.

The National Union of Journalists India also condemned the attack.

There was justifiable anger over the fact that no action seemed to have been taken against the men that Joshi had complained about. “Do people have to die before they are heard,” an angry user asked.

Unfortunately that seems to be the case. We need stronger laws to protect our media persons. India doesn’t need any more attacks on its journalists.