NEW DELHI: Indian police on Monday detained a former village chief accused of running over and killing a journalist with his sports utility vehicle.
Navin Nischal, a reporter for Danik Bhaskar, a major newspaper, was the latest in a string of journalists to be killed in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media.
Nischal and an associate Vijay Singh were on a motorcycle when they were run over in Bhojpur, about 80 kilometres (50 miles) from Patna, capital of the eastern state of Bihar.
Police said they had detained Mohammad Harsu, a former village chief in the region.
“Navin’s brother filed a complaint for his journalist brother. He said it was a murder as he had an argument with the former village head yesterday,” Bhojpur police superintendent Avkash Kumar said.
“We had registered a murder case after the complaint and arrested Mohammad Harsu. Now we are looking for his son but it’s an ongoing investigation to ascertain the murder allegations by the deceased’s family,” he added.
Media reports said Haru and his son fled the accident scene and his car was set on fire by local people.
Three journalists were reported killed in 2017 in India.
Journalists in the world’s largest democracy often face harassment and intimidation by police, politicians, and criminal gangs, while many work in hostile conditions in conflict-ridden zones.