Ravi Kanojia, a Principal Photographer with leading English daily The Indian Express, died on Monday during an assignment in Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi district.


Kanojia was clicking photos of the 10-wagon water train parked in the railway yard in Jhansi on Monday evening. 

According to a Hindustan Times report, he climbed on the top of one of the wagons to capture the quality of the water inside. He opened the iron lid but came in contact with a high-voltage overhead electricity line. His body went up in flames and was flung a few metres away. He died on the spot.

Kanoijia was in UP to report the drought in Bundelkhand, and the water train had been stationed at the Jhansi yard for four days because the UP government insisted it didn’t need water from the Centre.

The photo-journalist, who hailed from Ludhiana, is survived by his parents and three sisters.

Kanojia joined The Indian Express at its bureau in Ludhiana in April 2005 and moved to New Delhi in 2009. In 2014, he was honoured by the Press Council of India for his coverage of Muzaffarnagar riots. He was also a recipient of an honour by the Delhi government for “capturing the spirit of Delhi” through his photographs.

In Lucknow, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav announced an ex gratia of Rs 20 lakh for his family. 

Punjab’s cabinet minister Bikram Singh Majithia expressed condolence over the tragic death:

Watch the last video posted by Kanojia on the Indian Express Instagram account just before his accident:

Indian Express posted this tribute to Kanoijia on Twitter, which is a compilation of some of his best works: