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Journalist Bhowmik’s murder: Tripura may form special investigation team for probe

The decision came after the Agartala Press Club placed the demand before Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. The murder has triggered a national furore.

india Updated: Sep 25, 2017 15:14 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura,Journalist murder,Shantanu Bhowmik
Journalists at a road blockade set up over the killing of journalist Shantanu Bhowmick in Agartala(AFP Photo)

The Tripura government might constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the murder of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik on September 20 in Mandwai.

The decision came after the Agartala Press Club placed the demand before Chief Minister Manik Sarkar. The delegation of the club’s managing committee also requested that the trial be conducted at a fast-track court.

Meeting Sarkar at his official residence on Sunday, the delegation also demanded compensation to Bhowmick’s family, provision of special jackets for photo and video journalists, protection for scribes on duty, and a ban on the misuse of “press” sticker on vehicles. “The Chief Minister has assured to take positive steps,” secretary of Agartala Press Club, Kalyanjit Singh, told HT. He agreed to discuss with the administration the proposal to set up an SIT.

Meanwhile, a delegation of scribes from nine media organizations visited Bhowmik’s home and assured his family that they would continue to seek justice for his murder. Representing the media organizations, Subal Dey, editor of a local daily, said the journalists would light candles in front of Rabindra Shatabarshiki Bhawan at 6 p.m. over the coming weeks to press their demands.

On Saturday night, the police arrested a young man, Sachin Debbarma, on suspicion of his involvement in the murder. Debbarma is alleged to be a supporter of The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), the party demanding an autonomous state of Tipraland.

Police officials said IPFT supporters surrounded the Mandwai police station after the arrest of Sachin Debbarma and demanded his release.

On Thursday, they arrested two youths, Shyamal Debbarma and Bikash Debbarma, in connection with the case.

The police are chasing three other murder accused currently absconding.

The IPFT is set to demonstrate in Takarjala, around 30 kilometres away from Mandwai, tomorrow to demand the case be probed by the CBI “to unearth real culprits behind the murder,” said IPFT’s general secretary, Mewar Kumar Jamatia.

First Published: Sep 25, 2017 15:13 IST