A senior journalist was shot dead on Friday evening at Siwan town in Bihar.
Police said the incident took place around 8 pm when Hindi daily Hindustan’s Siwan bureau chief Rajdev Ranjan (42) was shot dead at Phal Mandi near Siwan station, barely half a km away from Town police station. Two bullets hit Ranjan— one on his forehead and the other, his neck.
Ranjan had left his Siwan office Friday evening after receiving a call. One of his colleagues said: “He left office saying he had urgent work. It was unusual for him to leave the office at peak hour.”
He headed a bureau of six people at Siwan, where the daily has a full-fledged edition. He lived at Mahadev Mission Compound.
Sources said Ranjan was intercepted by two bike-borne assailants, one of whom fired from close range. He died on the way to hospital.
Siwan SP Saurav Kumar said: “As of now, we only have preliminary information. We have learnt that the assailants were on a motorcycle and a 9 mm pistol was used in the murder.”
A senior police officer of Siwan said: “We are collecting evidence and trying to ascertain the motive behind the murder. We would seek information on his call details and check the calls he received before he was shot.”
The incident invited sharp political reactions. BJP legislature party leader and former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi said: “While we condemn the senior journalist’s killing in the strongest words, the Bihar CM should take steps to salvage the law and order situation at home instead of frequently making trips to nurse his political ambitions.”
RJD spokesperson Manoj Jha said: “We strongly condemn the incident. We will ensure the culprits are behind bars soon.”
Ranjan, a postgraduate who also held a law degree, started his journalistic career with Hindustan nearly 16 years ago as a stringer from Siwan. He later became a staff member. He took over as the newspaper’s Siwan bureau chief about seven years ago. He had covered Siwan politics and crime extensively and had penned several reports on court proceedings against former Siwan MP Mohammad Shahabuddin.