The CCTV footage from cameras installed in the busy area along the railway station of Bihar's Siwan district, where a senior journalist was yesterday shot dead, has gone missing, the Hindustan Times reported, even as Union Minister Arun Jaitley strongly condemned the killing and called for a probe.
An unnamed senior police officer allegedly told the paper that the missing footage indicated "a professional hit.” The Tirhut range inspector general, Paras Nath, told HT that efforts were on to retrieve the CCTV data.
I strongly condemn murder of journalists, Rajdeo Ranjan in Siwan & Akhilesh Pratap Singh in Chatra district. (1/2)— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 14, 2016
Independent investigation may be instituted & guilty be punished. (2/2)— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) May 14, 2016
Ranjan and a TV channel reporter in Jharkhand were both shot dead by unidentified gunmen yesterday, sparking protests by mediapersons and triggering a shutdown in the respective areas.
Ranjan, the Siwan district chief of Hindi daily 'Hindustan', was fired at late in the evening when he was going to a nearby fruit market on Station Road under Town police station, Superintendent of Police Saurabh Kumar Sah told PTI. Ranjan, 45, died on the way to hospital.
The SP said the motive behind the murder was yet to be ascertained. Ranjan has been writing for a long time against law-breakers of the area.
Meanwhile, police detained four people in connection with the murder.
In Jharkhand, Akhilesh Pratap Singh (35), a journalist of a news channel, was gunned down by unidentified people at Dewaria in Chatra district, police said. Singh was attacked near panchayat secretariat of the village last night, a police official said.
A bandh was observed in Chatra town in protest against the killing. Chief Minister Raghubar Das condemned the incident and asked Director General of Police D K Pandey to arrest the assailants at the earliest.
A delegation of local journalists met Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar and Superintendent of Police Anjani Kumar Jha and demanded adequate compensation to the family of the victim.
A US-based media watchdog has also called for an investigation into the brutal killings.
"While police investigations into the murders of journalists are welcome, investigations without arrests or tough prison sentences for the killers send the wrong message," Committee to Protect Journalist's Asia program senior research associate Sumit Galhotra said in a statement.
"I strongly condemn murder of journalists Rajdeo Ranjan in Siwan & Akhilesh Pratap Singh in Chatra district," Jaitley said.
(Inputs from PTI)