In the second killing of a mediaperson in Tripura in two months, a journalist working with a Bengali newspaper was shot dead on Tuesday allegedly by a constable of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) following an altercation.
The 48-year-old scribe, Sudip Datta Bhaumik, was gunned down around 2 pm inside the headquarters of the 2nd battalion of TSR at R K Nagar near here, West Tripura superintendent of police (SP) Abhijit Saptarshi said. Saptarshi said the police on reaching the spot found the reporter of the 'Syandan Patrika' lying in a pool of blood. He was taken to G B Hospital in Agartala where the doctors declared him brought dead. TSR constable Nandu Ryang has been arrested for the killing, the SP said.
The editor of the 'Syandan Patrika', Subal Dey alleged that Bhaumik was killed by the commandant of the 2nd battalion of TSR, Tapan Debbarma, as he had written a series of articles on corrupt practices of the officer. "It was Debbarma who called Bhaumik to the battalion headquarters...Bhaumik's mobile phone is missing, but all other belongings such as money bag and pen were recovered," Dey claimed. He demanded immediate arrest and suspension of the commandant. "We also demand the immediate resignation of the chief minister, who also heads the home department, because law and order has collapsed in the state," Dey said at a press conference here.
A delegation of journalists visited the headquarters of the TSR battalion for an on-the-spot inspection. Condemning the incident, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who is also the state home minister, said Debbarma has been removed from duty. He also ordered the director general of police to take "appropriate action" in the case. The state BJP said it has briefed Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh about the incident and he has sought a report from Governor Tathagata Ray.
The case should be handed over to the CBI, the party said. The BJP has called for a dawn-to-dusk strike on November 23 in protest against the journalist's murder and demanding the resignation of the chief minister. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too condemned the killing and extended her condolences to the journalist's family. "We strongly condemn the brutal killing of journalist...in Tripura. My condolences to the family of the deceased," Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle. The killing comes just two months after a TV journalist was killed in West Tripura district. On September 20, the journalist of a local television channel, Santanu Bhowmick, was killed at Mandai in the district when he went to cover an agitation by the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura