Journalist Sandeep Sharma crushed by truck: MP Police constitutes SIT

Sandeep Sharma

Sandeep Sharma, who worked for a local news channel, had told the district administration he feared he could be killed by the sand mafia, his nephew, Vikas Purohit, said in a complaint to the police.

Sharma, who had been reporting against Sand Mafia, was mowed down by a speeding truck in Madhya Pradesh's Bhind on Sunday. Adding to speculations of foul play is the fact that the journalist had previously complained to the police of threats to his life.

He had asked for police protection and had also alleged a nexus between the sand mafia and the local police.

Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said that strict actions will be taken against the person responsible for Sharma's death. The officer was transferred, said media reports quoting sources.

Sharma's two-wheeler was hit by the truck from behind killing him on the spot around 9 am, just a few meters away from the Kotwali police station.

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Sharma is survived by his wife and two children aged 14 and 15 years.

Sharma had carried out a sting operation in July-August a year ago that was aired by his channel in October. He exposed how police in the district are hand-in-glove with the mining mafia. A video clip of the incident went viral on social media. "After that, he started receiving death threats", said Satyanarayan Sharma, president of Bhind Press Club.

The footage of CCTV installed in the area clearly showed that the dumper suddenly turned towards left, appearing as if the driver had lost control of the vehicle, after negotiating a curve and hit the deceased's bike from behind. The CCTV footages have been accessed. I can't say right now whether it was an accident or murder.

This is not the first time that a journalist has been killed in the line of duty. Navin Nishchal, who worked for Dainik Bhaskar, and his colleague Vijay Singh were on a bike when they were hit by a vehicle.

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