Navin Nischal, a stringer for the Hindi-language daily, Dainik Bhaskar, was killed on the evening of March 25, 2018, after an SUV ran him over in the town of Arrah in India’s Bihar state.
Nischal and freelance journalist Vijay Singh were riding Nischal’s motorbike on the Arrah-Sasaram highway when an SUV hit them from behind and ran them over, according to a report in the Indian Express newspaper and Rakesh Kumar Singh, Dainik Bhaskar’s bureau chief for the Bhojpur district including Arrah.
Nischal and Singh died at the scene of the accident, according to Avkash Kumar, the Bhojpur district police superintendent.
Kumar told CPJ that a special investigation team had been formed to look into the journalists’ deaths.
According to Kumar, the Arrah village head, Mohammad Harshu, was driving the car that ran over Nischal and Singh. Police have arrested both Harshu and his son, Dablu, who was in the vehicle with his father at the time of the accident, Kumar said.
CPJ was unable to locate contact information for Mohammad and Dablu Harshus’ lawyers to get comment.
The Indian Express, quoting police sources, said that an argument had broken out between Nischal, Vijay Singh, and Mohammad Harshu earlier in the day.
According to Indian Express, Nischal’s recent reporting on child marriage and on Harshu’s role in land divisions angered the village head.
Kumar declined to comment on the alleged threats.