Principal Correspondent of Hindustan Times,Jasdeep Singh Malhotra,was killed and the SSP of Pathankot,S K Kalia,was seriously injured after the SUV in which they were travelling was hit by a truck in Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh on Sunday. The driver of the SSPs vehicle and his gunman were also injured in the accident.
According to HT photojournalist Pardeep Pandit,who was accompanying Malhotra,they were on their way to Patahankot to do a follow-up story on illegal sand mining in Pathankot. At Mukerian,Pandit said,Malhotra noticed the SSPs vehicle and called him to get his version for the story. Kalia obliged and Malhotra shifted to the SSPs vehicle.
I stayed in our vehicle and Malhotra shifted to the SSPs Innova. When we reached near Milwan village,few kilometres from Mukerian,I saw a large number of people standing on the roadside and found that the SSPs vehicle had rammed into a tree. Malhotra was badly injured,while the SSP and his driver were already rushed to Pathankot hospital in a critical condition before I reached the spot, said Pandit. People there told me that the vehicle was hit by a truck and then it hit the tree, he added.
A case has been registered at Indora police station.
Kangra SP Balbir Thakur,however,said: Prima facie,the accident occurred due to speeding by SSPs driver. Malhotra (41) is survived by his wife,a son and a daughter.