Madhya Pradesh journalist probing illegal sand mining cases mowed down by truck; Shivraj Singh Chouhan vows action

A journalist investigating illegal sand mining cases in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh was run over by a truck on Monday, media reports said.

ANI shared CCTV footage of the moment when journalist Sandeep Sharma was run over by a truck. The 35-year-old stringer had even complained to the police about a threat to his life before the incident occurred.

According to The Times of India, Sharma had allegedly filed the complaint after he carried out a sting operation against a police officer. The report adds that Sharma had filed a story with a national news channel, accusing the officer in question of being involved with the sand mafia.

 Madhya Pradesh journalist probing illegal sand mining cases mowed down by truck; Shivraj Singh Chouhan vows action

Representational image. Reuters

The police officer was transferred after the news channel had aired an audio conversation of him. According to the Indian Express, the officer was a sub-divisional police officer (SDOP) and the report on him was aired on the News World channel.

According to ANI, the police have formed an SIT (Special Investigation Team) to investigate the matter.  Indian Express reports that Bhind SP Prashant Khare said an offence under Section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) has been registered in connection with the death.

Khare added that the truck involved in the incident has been seized and a search is on for the driver, who fled after the accident. According to News Laundry, Bhind press club president Sathyanarayan Sharma was quoted saying Sharma’s death was "highly suspicious" and should be probed. "The fact that the dumper was empty gives rise to suspicion,” Sathyanarayan Sharma said.

The Times of India report adds that the incident took place near Kotwali police station, but the police still took 15 to 20 minutes to respond to the incident. However, Khare, in an attempt to appease the local media, said that "no stones would be left unturned" in the investigation.

According to ANI, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan reacted to the incident, saying "strict action" will be taken against the accused. "Security of journalists is our priority and strict action will be taken against the culprit," Chouhan said. 

Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia also reacted to the death of the journalist, saying "nothing less than a CBI inquiry" should be held on the matter. "Media is the fourth pillar of democracy and that is being crushed under BJP's rule," Scindia added.

With inputs from agencies 

Updated Date: Mar 26, 2018 16:38:10 IST