A newspaper hawker was shot dead in Bihar’s Begusarai district, 130 km east of Patna, early on Sunday morning, just one day after two journalists were murdered.
Sikander Singh, 42, was distributing newspapers when unidentified assailants pumped six bullets into his body, killing him on the spot.
“Preliminary investigations point to the deceased having a land dispute with a person at his village. We are trying to ascertain facts and police investigations are on,” Begusarai superintendent of police Ranjeet Kumar Mishra told HT.
No arrests have been made so far.
A resident of Chhattauna village in Begusarai district, Singh began his daily routine at 4 am. He picked up newspapers for distribution from Manjhaul village and was at the border of Begumpur-Naokothi villages when he came under attack.
Station house officer of Naokothi police station Brajesh Kumar Singh said the body was sent for post-mortem examination at the Sadar Hospital, Begusarai.
Singh is survived by his wife, Mala Devi; daughters, Kajal and Komal; and son, Durgesh. While Kajal is married, the other two children are minors and studying at APS High School, Naokothi.
Barely a day before Singh’s murder, on Saturday, two journalists were shot dead by unknown assailants in the state.
Dharmendra Singh, 35, a reporter with a vernacular daily, was shot by three bike-borne assailants when he was having tea at a roadside stall in Amratola locality under Muffasil police station of Sasaram on Saturday morning.
In the other incident, Ramchandra Yadav, a journalist-turned-mukhia of Kewatgama panchayat under Kusheshwar Asthan police station of Darbhanga, was gunned down by unidentified miscreants when he was returning home after attending a meeting with the local BDO.
The recent attacks came less than six months after the murder of Rajdeo Ranjan, bureau chief at a national Hindu daily, on May 13. He was shot dead near Siwan railway junction by bike-borne criminals when he was returning home from work.
These killings have been part of a series of attacks targeting journalists in Bihar.
Earlier, on January 22, Hindi news channel journalist Mukesh Kumar was brutally attacked in Tenibigha locality of Jehanabad. Journalist Shankar Prasad Thakur took suffered a similar attack at Darauli in Siwan on March 4.
On April 6, journalist Debbrat Tiwari was thrashed by miscreants at Kaimur, and Rakesh Singh escaped an abduction attempt in the state capital on May 28. Another journalist, Nagendra Narayan, was injured in an attack in Bagaha on June 15, and a photo journalist’s son was murdered in Patna on September 12.