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Tripura govt forms SIT to probe senior journalist’s murder

Commandant of the 2nd battalion of Tripura State Rifles was arrested for allegedly shooting dead senior journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2017 11:19 IST
Priyanka Deb Barman
Priyanka Deb Barman
Hindustan Times, Agartala
Tripura govt,SIT,Tripura journalist murder
Shima (in red) mourns next to the body of her husband Sudip Datta Bhowmik, a local journalist, who according to local media was shot dead by a Tripura State Rifles trooper in Agartala on November 22, 2017.(Reuters )

The Tripura government formed a four-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the murder of journ- alist Sudip Datta Bhowmik, 50, who was allegedly shot by a Tripura State Rifles trooper on Tuesday.

The government’s decision came following the arrest of TSR 2nd battalion commandant, Tapan Debbarma, in the case. The commandant was arrested a day after his personal guard, TSR trooper Nandagopal Reang was arrested for allegedly shooting Bhowmik. Debbarma and Reang were produced before a court on Wednesday and remanded in police custody for 10 days.

Sudip, who worked with a Bengali newspaper, Syandan Patrika, and a news channel, Vanguard, as an ‘investigative journalist’ had gone to the TSR 2nd battalion, located 20km from Agartala, for a story around noon on Tuesday.

An altercation allegedly broke out between the journalist and Reang. The TSR trooper allegedly fired at Bhowmik from his service AK-47 rifle and two bullets struck the journalist’s stomach, said police. Bhowmik was taken to hospital, where he was decla- red dead on arrival, police added.

Police said during initial investigation they were told Bhowmik stole an envelope containing mo- ney or documents from Debbar- ma’s table. Then Debbarma allegedly asked Reang to search Bhowmik, leading to an argument and shots being fired, police added.

Subal Dey, editor and propriet- or of Syandan Patrika, claimed Bhowmik was targeted because he had written 11 stories “exposing his corrupt practices”.

First Published: Nov 23, 2017 11:18 IST