“Kisi ne papa ko jaan se maar diya (someone killed my father),” was all a dazed five-year-old could say after she ran to her relative’s house in Ghaziabad’s Vijay Nagar on Monday night. Minutes earlier, 200 metres away, a group of people had cornered her father Vikram Joshi (34) as he was riding home on a scooty with his daughters.
Angered over a police complaint filed against them by Vikram for alleged molestation of his relative, Ravi, the main accused, and his associates allegedly assaulted and shot him in the head. Joshi succumbed to injuries on Wednesday morning. Expressing his condolences, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the kin of the deceased. The state government also announced a job to the journalist’s wife and assured free education to his three children.
According to police, Ravi and a few of his associates had first been arrested under preventive detention in connection with a complaint filed by the family in March last year. They were later granted bail.
Vikram’s sister claimed that the following year, the accused did not approach the family but were looking to retaliate.
“On the night of July 15, Ravi, Abhishek and a few others were outside our house. They hurled abuses… In 2019, during Holi, they had come to the house to create problems…,” alleged his sister.
She said Vikram was peace loving and never got into a fight, but felt he had to step in after the alleged molestation and filed an FIR.
The accused are unemployed and stay within a 5-10 km radius of Vikram’s house. On Monday night, police said the accused had gathered close to Vikram’s sister house as they anticipated he would step out later in the night. “Since we live in the same neighborhood, Vikram often visited us. He came to see us with his daughters on Monday night and left around 10 pm… Barely a few minutes later, his younger daughter came running with a shocked look saying Vikram had been killed. We rushed there and found his other daughter weeping…,” said his sister.
“His daughters did not speak anything for hours after the incident… Police have let us down… there were times when the sub-inspector did not respond to our calls… This could have been prevented,” she said.
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