A journalist working for an Assamese news channel died on Thursday morning, a day after he was knocked down by a vehicle in front of his house in Tinsukia district. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has ordered a CID inquiry into the death after the channel alleged foul play.
Parag Bhuyan was a correspondent for Pratidin Time in Kakopathar area of Tinsukia district. On Wednesday night, he was mowed down by a speeding vehicle in front of his house, succumbing to his injuries the next morning.
Pratidin Time Editor-in-Chief Nitumoni Saikia said in a statement that Bhuyan had received threats due to his reporting. “The initial… approach of the police gave us a reason to be suspicious about the whole incident and we suspect that the brave journalist was murdered as he has been doing series of reporting exposing illegalities and corruption around Kakopathar,” he said.
On Thursday, the official Twitter account of the Chief Minister’s Office posted: “Taking note of various allegations regarding the death of senior journalist Parag Bhuyan, CM Shri @sarbanandsonwal has directed a CID inquiry into the matter.”
Police have seized the vehicle that hit Bhuyan and arrested the driver and handyman.
Tinsukia SP Shiladitya Chetia told The Indian Express: “As per our investigation till now and based on the admissions of the driver and the handyman, prima facie it is a case of accident. We will investigate further.”
Asked if Bhuyan’s reporting had any connection with his death, Chetia said that the journalist used to report on multiple local issues from Kakopathar. “Till now, we have not found any connection between his death and any particular story,” the SP said.
Bhuyan was the brother of Jagdish Bhuyan, a former BJP leader who quit the party over the Citizenship Amendment Act and is now the coordinator of the regionalist party Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP).