NEW DELHI, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Two local journalists were shot dead in two separate attacks on them within a span of 24 hours in India, officials said Saturday.

The fatal attacks were carried out in India's two eastern states of Bihar and Jharkhand.

On Friday night, gunmen killed Rajdeo Ranjan, the bureau head of Hindi-language daily Hindustan in Bihar's Siwan district, about 144 northwest of Patna, the capital city of Bihar.

"Rajdeo Ranjan was fired on from a point-blank range last night, " a police official said. "Though he was immediately rushed to a nearest hospital but doctors there declared him brought dead."

Reports said Ranjan, a senior journalist was returning home from the office, when attackers shot him in head and neck.

Police in Bihar have detained two persons in connection with killing of journalist.

"CCTV footage and other evidences have been collected by forensic team from place of incidence," a senior police official at Siwan district said. "The motive behind the murder is yet to be ascertained.

Earlier on Thursday night, unidentified gunmen killed another journalist Akhilesh Pratap Singh working with a local television channel in a similar attack in Chatra district, about 150 km northwest of Ranchi, the capital city of Jharkhand.

"The 35-year-old Akhilesh Pratap Singh working with a local news channel was gunned down near the panchayat secretariat of his village," an official posted in Ranchi said.

The killings has evoked strong condemnations. The Press Club of India has expressed "serious concern" at the brutal murders and said they were "part of attempts on part the mafia to muzzle the independent voice of the media".

India's Information and Broadcasting Minister Arun Jaitley also condemned the killings.

"I strongly condemn murder of journalists, Rajdeo Ranjan in Siwan and Akhilesh Pratap Singh in Chatra district," Jaitley wrote on twitter.

Police, so far, is clueless about the killings.

Last year nine journalists were killed in India, according to Reporters Without Borders.