Two journalists died on the spot as a SUV (sports utility vehicle) rammed their bike in Bhojpur district of Bihar on Sunday night.
Family members of the journalists and locals alleged that they have been “murdered” by a former village Mukhia (village head).
Journalists Navin Nishchal and his associate, Vijay Singh, who worked for Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, were hit by the vehicle on the Ara-Sasaram highway under the Garhani police station limits.
The SUV was allegedly driven by Mohd. Harsu, husband of former village head Saheeda Pravin.
Mr. Nischal’s brother has lodged an FIR in the police station against Mr. Harsu, his son and others. Mr. Nischal had heated arguments with Mr. Harsu and his family members recently, the brother and some villagers said.
“The incidents smacks a well-hatched conspiracy to murder the journalists by ramming an SUV on them so that it will look like an accident,” the villagers said.
They alleged that as Mr. Nishchal and Mr. Singh were returning to the village, Mr. Harsu and his companion rammed the SUV into their bike and fled from the accident site. The SUV was later set on fire.
However, it is alleged that Mr. Harsu and his companions themselves set the vehicle on fire before fleeing from the spot “to remove” any evidence.
People stage protest on highway with bodies
A group of people staged a protest on the State highway with the bodies of Mr. Nishchal and Mr. Singh demanding the immediate arrest of the accused.
Police said six persons have been named in the FIR and steps taken to nab them. Mr. Harsu had several criminal cases against him, said the police.
Bhojpur SP Avkash Kumar said, “A special investigation team has been formed to nab Mr. Harsu and his son Dabloo… we’re investigating whether it was a murder or an accident.”
Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Bhai Birendra said, “Even the fourth pillar of our democracy [press] is not safe in Bihar under the Nitish Kumar government… we demand the immediate arrest of those involved in the incident.”
Ruling Janata Dal (United) spokesperson Neeraj Kumar said, “An FIR has been lodged and whoever is found involved cannot escape from the rule of law… this is Nitish Kumar government and it is known for its governance and rule of law.”
Opposition MLAs have ndicated that they will raise the issue of ”deteriorating law and order situation” in the State Assembly.
Courtesy: The Hindu