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Two journalist shootings reinforce India's sad record

Gunmen have shot dead two journalists in eastern India in separate incidents within 24 hours. They are the latest killings of members of the media in what is Asia's deadliest country for reporters.

Two journalists have been murdered in India in separate shootings by unknown gunmen in less than 24 hours, police and media reports said on Saturday.

In the second of the two incidents, which occurred on Friday evening in the state of Bihar, journalist Rajdeo Ranjan, the local bureau chief for the Hindi-language daily "Hindustan," was shot dead by a group of assailants while he was riding his motorcycle.

"He was shot from very close range. We rushed him to a hospital where he was declared dead on arrival last night," the police chief of Siwan district, Saurabh Kumar Sah, told the Agence France-Presse news agency by telephone.

The newspaper "Indian Express" quoted police as saying that Ranjan, 42, was hit by two bullets.

Dangerous profession

In the earlier shooting, television journalist Akhilesh Pratap Singh was also killed while returning home on a motorbike on Thursday. The "Indian Express" said the shooting took place at Dewaria in Chatra district in the state of Jharkhand, which borders on Bihar.

Members of Singh's family and supporters held a protest following the killing, and local journalists demanded that his relatives receive adequate compensation.

The Paris-based organization "Reporters Without Borders" ranked India as Asia's deadliest country for journalists in 2015, and the sixth-deadliest in the world.

Nine journalists were killed in India in 2015, at least five of them while they were carrying out their work, the organization said

in a report.

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