Rakesh Sharma, 50, had just reached home late on Friday when a telephone call made him set out on his bike again, heading for Bakewar, an official said.

Unidentified motorcycle-borne assailants intercepted the journalist at Bharthana Road and pumped bullets into him. A passerby identified him and informed others in the area and also his family.

He was rushed to a nearby medical facility, where doctors declared him "brought dead".

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) N Chowdhary told reporters that a thorough investigation was being undertaken, and the last telephone call received on the journalist's mobile phone was being looked into. Prima facie, the killing appeared to be due to some animosity, the official said.

The body was sent for autopsy. Local journalist groups have demanded immediate identification and arrest of the assailants.

(Agencies)

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