A journalist with a Hindi daily and his younger brother were shot dead by three assailants in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur on Sunday morning.
Police said the deceased, Ashish Kumar, who worked with the Dainik Jagran, had an argument with his neighbour Mahipal (48) over the disposing of garbage on Sunday. The altercation soon turned violent, with Mahipal and his sons Gaurav (28) and Suraj (24) forcing their way into Kumar’s house, and shooting the journalist and his younger brother Ashutosh. According to Biresh Giri, SHO, Kotwali police station Ashish and Ashutosh were 26 and 20-years-old respectively.
Ashish is survived by his pregnant wife and his mother.
A statement issued by the state government said, “Taking cognizance of the incident, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has instructed SSP Saharanpur to ensure strict action against the perpetrators. The families of the deceased will be given financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each.”
Saharanpur District Magistrate Alok Kumar Pandey said, “The CM has also directed the Saharanpur police to immediately arrest the killers.”
Saharanpur SSP Dinesh Kumar said, “While Ashish died on the spot, Ashutosh passed away during operation. We are close to making arrests.” The SSP said three teams of the local police and the crime branch have been formed to arrest the accused, who are natives of Jhijhana town in Shamli district.
The police is also investigating whether the firearms used in the shooting were licensed.
Soon after the double murder, police had to use mild force to disperse a mob of local residents which attempted to set the house of the accused on fire.
The Saharanpur Kotwali police has taken two women of Mahipal’s family into custody. “The FIR in this connection was lodged by Ashish’s uncle against six persons, including two women of the family. The women are already in our custody while efforts on a large scale are being made to arrest the killers,” Viret Pal Giri, the in-charge of the Kotwali police station, told The Indian Express over the phone.
“So far there has been no evidence suggesting that the crime was done out of old enmity… Prima-facie it appears it was a spur-of-the-moment crime,” said Vineet Bhatnagar, SP City Saharanpur.
Samajwadi Party president and former chief minister Akhilesh Yadav expressed his condolences to the family of the deceased and demanded at least Rs 20 lakh compensation each for them.
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi, citing a news report of the murder, tweeted in Hindi, “What will you call this arrangement where shootings are happening in broad daylight? People responsible for stopping crimes are too busy covering up and this is crime-free Uttar Pradesh.”
With inputs from ENS, Lucknow