A senior rural journalist, Parag Bhuyan, from Tinsukia district in Assam, died in a hospital on Thursday, November 12, after he was run over by a speeding vehicle under "mysterious circumstances" on Wednesday near his residence in Kakopathar.
Bhuyan was admitted to Aditya Nursing Home in Dibrugarh in a critical condition and died while undergoing treatment, Pratidin Time reported.
The state government has ordered a probe in the journalist's death. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal offered his condolences and said: "Late Parag Bhuyan has made significant contribution in the field of journalism and his death is an irreparable loss to the society. I convey deep sympathy to the bereaved family and pray for eternal peace of the departed soul."
The police have seized the vehicle that knocked down Bhuyan. They have also arrested the driver, James Murha, and handyman Baba Bordoloi from Namsai in Arunachal Pradesh.
Pratidin Time, a private Assamese news channel where Bhuyan worked has called it a "murder".
"The speeding vehicle hit him right in front of his home and escaped through a police check gate. This morning only after the intervention of the Chief Minister through the DGP, the police sprang into action and seized the vehicle, 15 hours after the incident. The initial approach of the police gave us reason to be suspicious about the whole incident and we suspect that the brave journalist was murdered as he was doing a series of reporting exposing the illegalities and corruption around Kakopathar area. He had also received threats," Pratidin Time editor-in-chief Nitumoni Saikia said.
Bhuyan was the vice-president of the Tinsukia District Journalists' Association.
Soon after the news of his death surfaced, the Guwahati Press Club asked the Assam DGP to constitute a special investigation team (SIT) to probe the case.
"The circumstances under which the senior journalist lost his life hints towards foul play, making it a fit case for a high-level inquiry," Guwahati Press Club chief Manoj Kr Nath and General Secretary Sanjoy Ray said in a statement.