Three journalists were allegedly killed in the last 24 hours in separate incidents in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, according to sources.
While two journalists of a leading vernacular newspaper were rammed in Bihar's Bhojpur district, another was mowed down by a heavy vehicle in Madhya Pradesh on Monday morning.
Journalist Sandeep Sharma, 35, who had been investigating the nexus between police and sand mafia in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhind district was hit by a dumper from behind, killing him on the spot, family members and friends said.
According to local scribes, the incident happened hardly a few meters away from the town Kotwali Police station but police took more than 20 minutes to reach the incident site.
Recently, the channel where Sharma worked, had aired an audio conversation on the link between police officials and sand mafias.
Bhopal Press Club president told the media that Sharma had informed the local administration about the issue.
“He had submitted a written complaint citing threat of life to the Bhind superintendent of police (SP),” Madhya Pradesh press club members said.
In another incident, Navin Nishchal and his colleague Vijay Singh were rammed by a SUV allegedly driven by the village council headman and his son at Bihar’s Bhojpur district late on Sunday.
Police have identified the village headman as Mohammad Harsu. According to a Bihar police officer, Harsu has several criminal cases against him.
Soon after the incident, local torched the SUV. However, the local headman and his son managed to escape.
“Both the journalists died on the spot. An FIR has been lodged against Harsu and his son,” Bihar Police added.
Nischal’s brother also informed the police that Harsu and his family members had recently threatened the deceased over an article published against the local headman.
“We have formed a special team to nab the accused,” Bhojpur SP Avkash Kumar said.