Tripura tribal activists beat TV channel journo to death

Gwen Vasquez
September 22, 2017

Santanu Bhowmick, a journalist at "Dinrat" news channel, was yesterday killed in West Tripura district while he was covering an IPFT agitation.

Bhowmick was a 28 year old reporter with Dinraat channel, who had gone to Mandai, about 35 kilometres from Agartala, to cover the clash between IPFT and TRUGP, the CPI (M)'s tribal wing. Chief minister Manik Sarkar assured the mediapersons of a probe to apprehend the perpetrators.

This is how the ruling CPI (M) and the local BJP reacted to the incident. The CPM politburo, in a statement, said, "On the heels of the murder of Gauri Lankesh has come yet another killing of a progressive journalist".

Bhowmik's body was on Thursday brought to Agartala Press Club after the post mortem before being taken for cremation via his residence.

Deputy inspector general of police Arindam Nath told IANS news agency that four IPFT members were arrested from the spot. The government, on the other hand, suspended internet connectivity for 24 hours.

Expressing solidarity with the deceased's family and as well as the press fraternity of Tripura, especially Tripura Journalists' Union, the Arunachal Press bodies demanded exemplary punishment for those perpetrators involved in the brutal murder.

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Jayanta Bhattacharya, a senior journalist, said Bhowmik's death underscored the perils of reporting in a communally-charged atmosphere.

Following the murder, political parties got into a war of words.

Speaking to media persons, AMWJU President W Shyamjai said that the killing of the journalist is to suppress the freedom of expression and freedom of the press.

Bhowmick was the second journalist to be killed in India this month.

Prior to Gauri, Haryana-based television journalist Surender Singh Rana was shot dead on July 29.

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