Singh, 42, a part-time reporter for a local Hindi daily Prabhat Khabhar, was shot dead in Khunti district while he and two friends were visiting a construction site on the Pasrabeda-Khatanga route, according to news reports. Local citizens told news media that a group of 10 to 12 Maoists had gunned him down and that Singh's friends were able to escape.
A letter found in Singh's pocket said he had been killed because he was carrying out government work without the PLFI's permission. Singh also ran a construction business in the area. The letter, which was allegedly signed by members of the People's Liberation Front of India (PLFI), a breakaway Maoist faction, said: "No one can work in the area without approval of the PLFI," according to news reports.
The Hindu reported that Singh was allegedly killed in a dispute over collection of a levy on a road-building contract.
News reports said Singh had written about activities of the rebels for the past 16 years. M Taleem Vannan, the superintendent of police of Khunti district, said police were investigating the murder.