New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) George Joseph, political editor of IANS, died early Monday following cardiac arrest. He was 57.
Joseph was rushed to Fortis Hospital in Noida early Sunday after he suffered a massive heart attack. He had an emergency surgical procedure, after which he seemed to recover somewhat, but his condition worsened at night.
A condolence meeting was held at Kerala House that was attended by union Minister of State for Home Mullappally Ramachandran, Communist Part of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Prakash Karat, CPI's D. Raja, Bharatiya Janata Party's Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
Various political, social and media organisations sent their representatives to express condolences and solidarity with the bereaved family.
His body will be flown to Kerala Tuesday for the last rites to be held Wednesday.
Joseph had been a journalist since 1980. He began his career with the National Herald, then worked with The Times of India before moving to the Indian Express where he had a long stint in Srinagar during the crucial years of the insurgency in the 1990s. There he met fellow journalist Aasha Khosa whom he later married. They have a daughter, Vitasta Joseph, who is studying in Class 9.
Joseph, who joined IANS in 2010, also worked for Malayalam media, including a stint as chief of bureau in Delhi of Jeevan TV.
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Finance Minister K.M. Mani were among those who sent in their condolences.
Stating that Joseph's untimely death was a huge loss of journalism, Chandy said: "I deeply condole the passing away of veteran IANS journalist George Joseph, whom I knew well. His stories from Kashmir are worth mentioning and include numerous scoops."
Said Mani: "Am deeply taken aback hearing the news of the sudden demise of one of country's leading journalists and it was from his pen that the world came to know about the happenings in Kashmir for a long time.
"I see his demise as a huge loss to journalism in the country."
Kottayam Lok Sabha MP Jose K. Mani added that he was shocked by the "passing away of one of the stalwarts of journalism in the country".
"The way he covered Kashmir will always be an eye opener for all budding journalists."
Tarun Basu, chief editor of IANS, said in a message: "George was a journalist of rare integrity and equanimous temperament. His last assignment was to cover the UP election campaign where he spent some days in the company of fellow journalists travelling to various parts of the state. In a way, he died in harness, writing his stories and interviews from the political trail he tracked. He will be sorely missed."