Despite receiving a complaint by journalist Vikram Joshi on July 16, alleging that his relative had been molested, it was a day after he was attacked that police converted it into an FIR.
Joshi was shot in the head, in front of his two minor daughters, on Monday. He succumbed to injuries on Wednesday morning at Ghaziabad’s Yashoda Hospital.
Police have so far arrested nine people for his murder, and claim the accused are the same men against whom Joshi had filed the molestation complaint.
“The sub-inspector, Raghvendra, has been suspended for dereliction of duty with immediate effect. The role of the Vijay Nagar SHO is also under probe to ascertain if other police officers were complicit in the alleged delay. A report has been sought, which will be submitted within the next 24 hours. The report will fix responsibility of the incident and action will be taken accordingly,” said Praveen Kumar, IG (Meerut Range).
Joshi’s family alleged that two hours before he was shot, he made a call to sub-inspector Raghvendra, saying he was under threat from the accused mentioned in the July 16 complaint.
“The accused had come to my house a day after we approached police with the complaint. On Monday, they were spotted nearby again. Vikram called the police and said they were up to something, but he (the SI) dismissed it, saying he was unwell. If he could not come, could he not have sent someone else?” Joshi’s sister alleged.
Police said the allegation that the policeman did not respond to the call is being probed.
Two complaints, dated July 16, written by Vikram’s sister state that two accused, Ravi and Chotu, came to their residence that night, abused her family and made “lewd gestures”. The letter further alleges that when her son tried to argue with the accused, they assaulted him.
While one letter was sent to the SSP office, the other was addressed to the Vijay Nagar police station.
Family members alleged that the complaint was the reason behind Vikram’s murder.
Both Ravi and Chotu have been arrested along with seven others. Chotu was accused in a stabbing case in 2016 and granted bail. Police said they are looking into criminal records of the others.
Vikram was returning from his sister’s home, near his own residence, when he was shot. The family had gathered to celebrate his niece’s birthday.
“What his children have seen is beyond anyone’s imagination. Vikram’s daughter has barely spoken since that day. His wife is dazed and has not comprehended the situation. When these people are out on bail, who is to say that they will not target us again?” his sister said.
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