Accident? Murder? Death of Assamese journalist raises questions, police claim no foul play
Tinsukia: A mystery surrounds the death of an Assamese journalist on Thursday, a day after he was hit by a commercial vehicle on national highway 52 in Tinsukia district.
Parag Bhuyan succumbed to his injuries at Assam Medical College and Hospital on Thursday morning.
Editor of the Assamese news channel Pratidin Time Nitumoni Saikia said in a statement, “On Wednesday night at around 8:15, our Kakopathar correspondent was critically injured in a mysterious road accident that took place just by the side of Kakopathar police station.
“A speeding Tata DI vehicle hit Bhuyan right in front of his home and managed to escape right through the check gate of the Kakopathar police station,” Saikia said, adding, it took police around 15 hours to swing into action and seize the vehicle and apprehend the driver and handyman of the vehicle only after the intervention of Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal through the director general of police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta.
Saikia said the initial lackluster approach of the police gave us reason to be suspicious about the whole incident and we suspect the brave journalist has been murdered as he was doing a series of reports, exposing illegalities and corruption around Kakopathar. "We demand a detailed inquiry into the whole incident and justice for Bhuyan," Saikia added.
Gauhati Press Club (GPC) condoled the death of senior journalist Parag Bhuyan who passed away last night under mysterious circumstances. “The circumstances under which the senior journalist has lost his life hints towards foul play, making it a fit case for a high-level inquiry, " GPC president Manoj Kr Nath and general secretary Sanjoy Ray said in a statement.
However, talking to this correspondent, superintendent of police Shiladitya Chetia said, prima facie it seems to be a case of a road accident. "We have nabbed the driver and handyman of the vehicle and seized the vehicle from Namsai with the assistance of Arunachal police."
Based on the statement of the accused, it seems that the vehicle was returning to Namsai after dropping green leaves at Rupai when the incident occurred. "The driver revealed that he took a sharp turn after he saw a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and hit a man. The vehicle was running at a speed of 60 kmph," added Chetia.
Chetia said they fled to Namsai through an interior road out of fear. "The police are investigating the case."
The accused has been identified as James Murah and Baba Bordoloi.