Journalist, who exposed police-mining mafia nexus, run over by dumper in MP
A journalist working with a news channel, who reportedly exposed the nexus between police and the sand mining mafia in Chambal region, was run over by a dumper at Bhind in Madhya Pradesh on Monday morning.
Sandeep Sharma, 35, was on his way to the Press Club at Bhind on his bike when the dumper hit him from behind. He died on the spot. The dumper driver sped away after the incident.
Local journalists alleged it was a case of murder as Sharma had exposed the nexus between police and the mafia. They said he had been facing threat to his life for quite sometime now due to the exposes.
Sharma had submitted a letter to Bhind superintendent of police Prashant Khare in November last year, citing threat to his life from a sub-divisional officer of police and the mining mafia.
The journalist, who worked with News World channel, had apprehended that he would either be killed in a road accident or implicated under false charges.
Sharma had carried out a sting operation in July-August last year that was aired by his channel in October.
The SP had shifted some police officers and personnel after the sting was aired, but no disciplinary action was taken against them. Also, no security cover was provided to Sharma even after the threat perception, local journalists said.
“He was an honest journalist. He exposed how police in the district are hand-in-glove with the mining mafia. First SP Anil Singh Kushwaha and then SP Prashant Khare took action against some police officers and personnel after the sting clip went viral on social media. After that, he started receiving death threats,” said Satyanarayan Sharma, president of Bhind Press Club.
Sharma also said that CCTV footage accessed by police clearly showed the empty dumper following the victim for quite some time before hitting him and running over him.
Bhind SP Khare said, “We are investigating the matter. The CCTV footages have been accessed. Police are also interrogating eye-witnesses. I can’t say right now whether it was an accident or murder. This will be clear after investigation.”