NEW DELHI: The NHRC has issued notices to Bihar's chief secretary and the state's police chief over death of two journalists in Bhojpur district in a road accident involving the scribe's motorbike and an SUV of a former village head.
Taking a cognizance of media reports, the Commission said the incident which happened on March 25, raises a big question mark on the safety of scribes.
Reportedly, the accused persons allegedly had heated arguments with the journalists and threatened them with dire consequences and soon after this both were crushed to death, the National Human Rights Commission said in a statement.
The Indian Federation of Working Journalist (IFWJ) has strongly condemned the incident and called for stern action against the accused.
Reportedly, this is the fourth incident of journalists being killed in the past two years in the state, indicating how they have become the soft targets of miscreants, the human rights body said.
The notices have been issued to the chief secretary and the director general of police seeking a detailed report in the matter within four weeks.
If the deceased journalists have actually been targeted as indicated in the news report, it is indeed a serious threat for a civilized society, the NHRC said.
"The state authorities are required to take immediate stringent action against the miscreants. to uphold the rule of law and constitutional safeguards extended to journalists in our democratic society."
"In a democratic country, such tragic incidents cannot be allowed to happen. Freedom of speech and expression is essential for political liberty and proper functioning of democracy," the commission observed.
The incident happened when Naveen Nishchal and his friend Vijay Singh, who worked for a Hindi daily, were returning home on their two-wheeler after covering a rally on the occasion of Ram Navami.
Police said a speeding SUV hit them from behind resulting in their death on the spot.
The scribe's family alleged that it was a case of murder and a former village head was behind it.
Nishchal's brother has alleged in the FIR that a former Panchayat Mukhiya, Ahmed Ali alias Harsu, and his son Dabloo were behind it, the district police chief has said.
It was alleged in the FIR that Harsu had been nursing a grouse against the reporter, the SP said.