By Alok Mohit
PATNA: The Araria police on Saturday said they had taken into custody four suspects in connection with the murder of journalist Vimal Yadav.
Yadav, a 40-year-old journalist associated with the Hindi daily, Dainik Jagran, was shot dead during the early hours of Friday at his Raniganj residence in Bihar’s Araria district, 320 km northeast of state capital Patna.
Police said eight people were named as accused in connection with the incident. Four of them–Vipin Yadav, Bhavesh Yadav, Ashish Yadav and Umesh Yadav– had been arrested, they said, adding that two other accused, Rupesh Yadav and Kranti Yadav, were currently incarcerated. Two more accused accused remained at large, they said.
The police are currently interrogating the arrested persons for further information. “Based on their inputs, raids are being conducted to locate other suspects,” the police said.
Vimal Yadav’s father had filed a First Information Report (FIR) against eight persons in connection with the incident.
Police said preliminary investigations suggested that Vimal Yadav had a longstanding feud with his neighbours, raising suspicions that the murder might be connected to this enmity. “Family members believe that Rupesh, currently in jail, conspired to orchestrate the killing,” they added.
Notably, Vimal Yadav was the key witness in the murder case of his younger brother, Gabbu Yadav, which occurred four years ago in April 2019. Gabbu Yadav served as the village head of Belsara Panchayat at the time. A trial was underway, with Vimal as the primary witness. Family members assert that the same individual responsible for Gabbu Yadav’s murder is also behind Vimal’s tragic demise.
Reacting to the incident, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar expressed his deep regret, terming it as “very unfortunate.” He promptly instructed officials to investigate the matter upon receiving the information. “When I got the information, I immediately instructed the officials to investigate the matter. I have seen the news before coming here. The officials are looking into how a journalist can be killed in this manner. Orders have been given to apprehend all those involved in this case as soon as possible,” he said.
(Author Alok Mohit is former senior News Editor of Hindustan Times Patna and Chandigarh editions; can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)