Atul Agarwal, the editor-in-chief of the Hindi Khabar news channel has been allegedly looted and assaulted in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida Extension on the intervening night of May 19 and 20 (Saturday-Sunday). According to reports, the owner of the Hindi news channel, who was travelling in his SUV car, was intercepted by five masked bike-borne assailants, in Sector 49 police station area and robbed of Rs 5000-6000 cash at gunpoint.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone II) Harish Chander said that Atul Agarwal was going from Noida to his house in Greater Noida late on Saturday night. He suddenly realised that there was some problem with the music system of his car. He stopped his car some 300 metres ahead of the Rise police chowki and started fixing the music system when five miscreants on two motorcycle surrounded him. They beat him up and looted cash and other items at gunpoint.
“It has come to our notice that a senior journalist was attacked by a group of men on Saturday. We have taken cognisance of the issue even though the victim has not informed the police of the incident. Teams have been formed and we will soon arrest the accused,” said Harish Chandar.
According to reports, no police complaint has been filed yet, however, Noida Police has started probing the case after the news of the incident started doing rounds on social media, following the journalist’s Facebook post where he has shared his ordeal.
In a subsequent post, the journalist wrote that out of fear he did not file a complaint after the purported incident took place on the intervening night of May 19-20, but the Noida police have taken cognisance and started investigating the incident.
“Assailants left when they saw a press sticker on the windscreen of his car”, Atul Agarwal
According to the journalist, the assailants not only looted him but at one point also tried to physically assaulted him. They, however, spared his life when he told them that he had a small son to raise.
“The miscreants asked me to withdraw cash from the ATM. I too them that I do not have my ATM card and told them that I could transfer them the money through Paytm. As soon as I said this, the boy behind me started choking and abusing me”, the journalist wrote in his Facebook post.
He also added that the assailants took his phone and also made him unlock it but eventually threw his phone in the backseat after they saw a press sticker on the windscreen of his car and appeared to have recalled him.
“When they took away my phone, I mustered some courage and showed them my card and told them that I am a government-accredited journalist and if they take my phone away they would get tracked in no time. I don’t know what came to her mind, they threw my phone in the backseat and left”, informed Atul Agarwal adding that they threatened him with dire consequences if he spoke about the incident to anyone, and sped off on their bikes.
No arrests have been made in connection with the case so far, said police.