In a shocking incident, a journalist from a local TV news channel in Agartala, Santanu Bhowmick, was on Wednesday abducted and killed while covering the incident of agitation and clashes between the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and members of Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP), the tribal wing of the ruling CPI-M.
The incident has attracted an angry reaction from the journalist fraternity in the state with media persons holding protest at official residence of Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar late yesterday demanding arrest of killers and perpetrators involved in killing of Mr Bhowmick.
Superintendent of Police of West district, Abhijit Saptarshi said Santanu Bhowmick, a journalist from ‘Dinrat’ news channel, was covering the agitation and road blockade by the IPFT at Mandai when he was hit from behind and abducted.
Later, Bhowmick was found with serious stab injuries and was rushed to Agartala Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, the SP said.
Tripura Health Minister Badal Chowdhury condemned the killing and state Information Minister Bhanulal Saha visited the hospital.
The SP said the situation at Mandai was tense. Prohibitory orders under section 144 Crpc were already in force in the area and more police forces was being rushed to there, he said.
Over a hundred activists of the Gana Mukti Parishad (GMP), the tribal wing of the ruling CPI-M, were yesterday injured in a clash with the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) at Chhankhola area of Khowai district, about 40 km from Agartala.
Khowai Superintendent of Police Nagendra Debbarma told reporters that the clash took place when the Parishad supporters gathered at the bus stand at Khowai town to travel to Agartala for a GMP rally. The IPFT workers attacked the GMP activists with sticks and iron rods and injured at least 118 of them, six seriously, and damaged at least 15 buses.
Personnel from the Tripura State Rifles and Assam Rifles were deployed in sensitive areas of the district and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC imposed in Tulashikhar and Rajnagar apprehending breach of peace, the SP said.
(With inputs from the PTI)