MP to recommend CBI probe in scribe's death; truck driver held

Last Updated 27 March 2018, 10:20 IST

A day after a television journalist, who had done a sting operation to report on an illicit sand mining case, was mowed down by a truck, the Madhya Pradesh government said it will recommend a CBI probe into his death.

Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, which ran over the journalist, was arrested late on Monday night, the police said.

Sandeep Sharma, who worked for a news channel in Bhind, had complained to the district administration about threats to his life after he carried out a sting operation on the illicit sand mining.

The 35-year-old journalist was talking on his phone by the side of Ater Road in front of a police station when the truck, used to ferry sand, ran over him on Monday, the police said.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday directed the relevant officials to recommend a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into Sharma's death, an official of the state Public Relations Department said.

"The police arrested the truck driver, Ranvir Yadav, who had fled the spot after the accident, and is questioning him," Superintendent of Police Prashant Khare said.

A case under Indian Penal Code under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) has been registered against the accused, Khare said.

Sharma's death had triggered a demand from the Congress for a CBI probe into the incident.

Congress chief whip in the Lok Sabha, Jyotiraditya Scindia, had on Monday said the journalist had exposed the nexus between the sand mafia and the police.

"This is a very serious matter and the CBI should immediately probe it," he had tweeted.

Scindia had also claimed that the mining mafia in the state was getting bolder by the day.

"...the helpless state government is just sitting by closing its eyes," he said in a tweet.

Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly, Ajay Singh, also demanded a CBI probe, stating that the government had not taken any action to provide security to the journalist though he had informed the authorities about the threat to his life.

Sandeep had also told the district administration that he feared he could be killed by the sand mafia, the victim's nephew, Vikas Purohit, said in a complaint to the police.

"Sandeep had also petitioned the Madhya Pradesh director general of police, the inspector general and the district superintendent of police, besides the Human Rights Commission stating that he feared for his life and had demanded security," Purohit said.

In his report to the top officials, Sharma had said because of the sting operation against the sand mafia and the sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), the officer was transferred, Purohit claimed.

Sharma was to have recorded his statement against the SDPO and was being threatened by unidentified people, Purohit added.

BJP spokesperson Rajnish Agrawal, meanwhile, said the police was looking into the incident.

"It is an unfortunate incident and we condole his demise. The police is probing the matter and everything would come out after the investigation," he said.

(Published 27 March 2018, 10:20 IST)

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