HRDA blames police negligence for Vikram Joshi murder 

Writes to NHRC saying the slain journalist was a human rights defender doing "public service by attempting to lodge a police complaint against sexual harassment."

Vikram Joshi murder

As Uttar Pradesh Police investigators continue to look out for an absconding criminal, accused in the murder of Journalist Vikram Joshi, a crucial element of neglect from within the force may have been overlooked. It was the dereliction of duty by the policemen who did not accept, and act on the complaint Joshi was trying to lodge, when his niece was being  harassed by local goons. The criminals later sought revenge from the journalist, stalked, and shot him in cold blood in front of his young daughters at night on July 21. The journalist succumbed to his injuries the next day. 

The Human Rights Defenders Alert-India (HRDA), has brought the focus back on the “extreme negligence” that they say was shown by “Pratap Vihar police chowki incharge in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, Mr Raghvendra Singh, who did not register an FIR based on a complaint by journalist Mr. Vikram Joshi regarding the sexual harassment of his niece.” 

The HRDA is a forum that works towards monitoring and seeking actions on behalf of Human Rights Defenders who are faced with security concerns, and have been threatened. They have written to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and have  expressed concern over the “extreme negligence” shown by the police. 

When Vikram Joshi was shot dead, only a few days after he had gone to the police, his family has alleged that “the police was in cahoots with the goons” and that the “lack of action by the local police encouraged the goons to murder Joshi.”

The HRDA states that this is a case of a human rights defender, trying to do a “public service by attempting to lodge a police complaint for outraging the modesty of a woman.”  They state that it was “gross negligence on part of the police to not register the FIR for sexual harassment (IPC S.354A) and physical assault (IPC S.352) despite repeated attempts by Mr. Joshi and this led to his murder.” 

Joshi’s family feels that the reluctance of the police to register the complaint was because the “police was in collusion with the goons and their negligence led to encouraging the goons to murder Mr. Joshi,” stated the HRDA letter. Apart from the NHRC, the HRDA has sent an urgent appeal to the Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police of Ghaziabad District, UN Special Rapporteur, altering them  on the situation faced by human rights defenders. They have also altered the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women and various international organisations, stated the HRDA’s National Working Secretary Henri Tiphagne. 

They have sought that the NHRC intervene and ensure justice to Josji’s family. They have asked that the NHRC “initiate an immediate, independent and transparent inquiry against the Mr. Rajeev Kumar Sehrawat, SHO of Vijayanagar police station and Mr. Raghavendra Singh, the chowki in-charge of Pratap Vihar for not registering FIR despite several attempts by Mr. Vikram Joshi.”

They have also asked security be provided to the Joshi’s family, who are vulnerable to further attacks. The HRDA has also sought “stringent actions against the Jeevan Jyoti Hospital for refusing to admit Vikram Joshi when he was in a critical condition after being shot in the head. 

The letter may be read here:

Meanwhile, the Ghaziabad SSP has announced a reward of Rs 25,000 for “providing the information about the whereabouts of Akash Bihari, who is wanted in connection with the murder of journalist Vikram Joshi”, reported Zee News. According to the news report, Akash Bihari is accused of performing recce on July 20, just before Joshi’s murder. 

Nine suspects have been arrested so far, and ar SHO and Pratap Vihar Outpost Incharge have been suspended for dereliction of duty. 



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