Senior Tripura journalist shot dead in altercation with State Rifles jawan
Two months after the murder of journalist Santanu Bhowmik, another Tripura journalist, Sudip Datta Bhowmik, was allegedly shot dead by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR)trooper at RK Nagar, nearly 20km from the state capital on Tuesday.
Sudip Datta Bhowmik worked with a local Bengali newspaper, Syandan Patrika, and a news channel,Vanguard, as ‘an investigative journalist’. He was the cousin of Pradip Datta Bhowmick, editor of Tripura’s popular Bengali newspaper Dainik Sambad.
According to sources, Sudip Datta Bhowmik, 50, had gone to the 2nd battalion of TSR in West Tripura district to meet the commandant for a story.
There he reportedly had an altercation with the commandant Tapan Debbarma and was shot by his personal guard Nandagopal Reang.
Reang allegedly fired from his service AK-47 rifle injuring Bhowmik on his stomach.
The bleeding journalist, who had two bullet injuries, was rushed to the GB Pant Medical College and Hospital where he was declared dead on arrival.
While Reang has been arrested, his boss Debbarma has been placed under suspension.
Some reports say Reang fired at Bhowmik on directions from Debbarma, but it couldn’t be confirmed.
Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar condemned Bhowmik’s murder and ordered Director General of Police (DGP) to take stern action against the murder accused at the earliest.
In a press communiqué, Sarkar expressed sympathy towards the slain journalist’s bereaved family.
BJP has called for a 12-hour strike in the state on November 23 in protest of the killing. However, the CPM, in a statement, criticized the BJP for politicizing the incident.
On September 20, Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was hacked to death while covering a clash between two rival tribal groups at Mandai, about 35 km from Agartala.