TRIPURA NEWS

CBI to probe two Tripura journalists’ killings

Agartala, June 23: Responding to the State government’s requests, the CBI will probe the killing of two journalists in Tripura last year, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb said on Saturday.

“Following the State government’s requests, necessary notifications were issued last week allowing the CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) to probe the killings of two Tripura journalists”, said Deb. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) under the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Training issued two separate notifications last week to probe the killings of two journalists — Santanu Bhowmik, 28 and Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, 50 — last year.

The Chief Minister, who also holds the Home portfolio, said that as per the pre-poll promises of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the State government after a cabinet decision in March requested the DoPT to ask the CBI to probe the heinous killings of the two young journalists. “The previous Left Front government rejected the BJP and journalists’ bodies’ demand for a CBI probe. The state government will extend all kinds of support to the CBI to probe the murders. We believe that the families of slain journalists will get justice,” he added. Deb said the CBI might study the reports of the two separate Special Investigation Teams (SIT) , constituted by the previous Left Front government. To probe the killings, the erstwhile Left Front government had set up two separate SITs headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Arindam Nath and Inspector General of Police G.S. Rao, respectively. The SIT, led by Nath, arrested four TSR personnel — including TSR 2nd Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma, who is a senior Tripura Police Service (TPS) officer and was waiting for IPS nomination.

A local newspaper journalist, Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, 50, was shot dead inside the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) second Battalion headquarters at Ramchandra Nagar in West Tripura district on November 21 last year. Television journalist Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was hacked to death while covering a demonstration of a tribal-based political party at Mandai, 25 km from Agartala, on September 20, 2017.

The Forum of Protection of Journalists (FPJ), an apex body of eleven journalists’ organisations, organised agitation for 171 days until March this year demanding CBI probe.”We have met President Ramnath Kovind, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Minister of PMO Jitendra Singh, Press Council of India Chairman Justice (Retd) C.K. Prasad in New Delhi with our sole demand,” FPJ convenor Pranab Sarkar told the media on Saturday. “We want a speedy CBI probe to punish the killers and justice to the families of the victims,” veteran editor Subal Kumar Dey said while addressing a press conference. The FPJ thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister and Tripura Chief Minister for arranging the CBI inquiry into the killing of journalists. (IANS)