Tripura scribe killing: Commandant held, sent to PC

22 Nov 2017

The commandant of the 2nd battalion of the Tripura State Rifles( TSR), Tapan Debbarma was today arrested in connection with the killing of a journalist inside the battalion headquarters near here and remanded in Police Custody (PC) for ten days by a local court. Superintendent of Police (Police Control), Harkumar Debbarna said the commandant of the counter-insurgency paramilitary force was arrested for conspiring to kill the scribe, Sudip Datta Bhaumick inside the battalion headquarters at Radhakishore Nagar on Tuesday. TSR constable Nandalal Reang, who allegedly shot dead the journalist and was arrested last night, was also sent to police custody for ten days.
He and Debbarma were produced this morning before chief judicial magistrate Sharmishtha Mukherjee who passed the order. Datta Bhaumick, a reporter of the local Bengali daily 'Syandan Patrika', was gunned down around 2 pm, west Tripura superintendent of police Abhijit Saptarshi said. He was the second scribe to be killed in the north eastern state in two months. His body was taken in a procession today by journalists and newspaper employees of the state after postmortem at the G B Hospital.
The body was taken to the Agartala Press Club and the office of 'Syandan Patrika'. Editors, journalists and senior politicians like Tripura BJP president Biplab Deb, BJP MLA Sudip Barman and CPI-M M P, Shankar Prasad Datta offered floral tribute to the slain scribe. The procession stopped near the official residence of chief minister Manik Sarkar and held a protest there alleging that the Left Front ministry has failed to provide safety and security to the journalists. The protesting journalists also burnt jackets which had been provided to them by the police for the purpose of identification.
"We have burnt the jackets in protest against the government's failure to provide security to us. Within two months, two journalists were killed. The chief minister is also the home minister of the state and he cannot evade the responsibility," Pranab Sarkar, secretary of the Tripura Journalists Union told reporters. Editor of 'Syandan Patrika', Subal Kumar Dey alleged that Datta Bhaumick was killed because he had exposed the many misdeeds and corruption by the commandant. "It was a cold-blooded murder and Sudip was killed because he had written 11 news items exposing the commandant," he added.
Killing of the scribe has evoked strong protest from different journalist organizations. The All Manipur Working Journalist Union (AMWJU) today condemned the killing of Sudip Datta Bhaumik and urged the state government to ensure safety of scribes in the state. The AMWJU staged a sit-in protest here to condemn the killing. a journalist working with a Bengali newspaper in Tripura. Secretary General of AMWJU, Sukham Nanda told PTI over phone that the media fraternity of Manipur mourns the loss of one of their colleagues. Nanda urged the Tripura government to ensure safety of scribes in the state. The Editors Guild of Manipur in a statement also condemned the killing of Bhaumik. The killing comes just two months after a TV journalist was killed in West Tripura district. On September 20, the journalist of a local television channel, Santanu Bhowmick, was killed at Mandai in West Tripura district when he went to cover an agitation by the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (PTI)