Bihar journalist Dharmendra Singh’s murder plot was written in jail
The 35-year-old journalist, who had recently written a number of reports critical of the illegal stone quarrying units in Rohtas, was shot dead near his home in Sasaram early on Saturday morning.
PATNA: In a scene straight out of a typical Bollywood potboiler, it has emerged that the strategy to bump off journalist Dharmendra Singh of Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar in Bihar’s Rohtas district was ‘scripted’ in Gaya’s Central Jail by under-trial prisoner Pappu Singh, a dreaded local criminal.
The 35-year-old journalist, who had recently written a number of reports critical of the illegal stone quarry units in Rohtas, was shot dead near his home in Sasaram early on Saturday morning.
Singh, a well-known State-level football player, was returning from his daily morning walk when three motorcycle-borne men pumped three bullets into his stomach from point-blank range. Six men, including Pappu Singh, have been named in the First Information Report (FIR) in connection with the murder.
Pappu Singh, who is currently lodged in jail for the murder of the manager of a regional bank, had allegedly hired Sujit Kumar Singh, a co-accused in the murder case, to eliminate the journalist.
Sources said Pappu had sealed the deal to get the journalist killed for `5 lakh.
A brother of the slain journalist told the police that Sujit Kumar Singh was among the three bike-borne men who fired the shots at Dharmendra Singh and sped away.
“A special investigation team (SIT) headed by Rohtas SP M S Dhilon has been formed to investigate the murder. Raids are being conducted, and all the accused would soon be arrested,” DIG (Shahabad range) Mohammad Rahman told media representatives on Sunday.
“This murder seems to have links to Gaya jail,” SP Dhilon added.
The fact that a criminal orchestrated the murder from inside the jail has exposed the poor security arrangement in Bihar’s jails. Pappu Singh allegedly masterminded the journalist’s murder by using mobile phones from the Gaya jail.
Dharmendra Singh’s murder is the second killing of a journalist in Bihar in six months.
Rajdeo Ranjan, a journalist based in Siwan and working for a Hindi daily, was gunned down in May this year.
In Rohtas, it is the second murder of a journalist in the past nine years. Ram Vachan Pandey, a local journalist, was shot dead in 2007.
A delegation of journalists led by Bihar Working Journalists’ Union general secretary Prem Kumar submitted a memorandum to the DIG and demanded early arrest of Dharmendra Singh’s killers.