Agartala, Nov 24: The Press Council of India (PCI) has taken suo-moto cognizance on the killing of a jourlist by a Tripura State Rifles (TSR) trooper and sought a report from the Tripura government, an official said here on Friday.
“The PCI has taken up a suo-moto cognizance on the killing of jourlist Sudip Datta Bhowmik by a TSR trooper on Tuesday. The council has asked the Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan to submit a report on the killing of the jourlist,” an official of the state home department said.
He said: “The PCI is likely to send its official or a team to Tripura to gather inputs and to study the cause and circumstances of the incident.”
Demanding a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of the jourlist, several jourlist organisations on Thursday formed a new body — Forum For Protection of Jourlists (FFPJ) — to spearhead the agitation against the killing.
The FFPJ would hold a protest rally on Saturday demanding a CBI probe.
FFPJ convenor Prab Sarkar said a memorandum would be sent to President Ram th Kovind demanding a CBI probe into the killing of the jourlist and protection of media persons.
According to police, TSR Second Battalion Rifleman ndu Kumar Reang, following an altercation, gunned down Sudip Datta Bhowmik, 50, at Radha Kishore gar, 25 km from Agartala, on Tuesday.
Reang was the bodyguard of Second Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma. The slain jourlist had gone to meet Debbarma at the battalion headquarters.
Police have arrested both trooper and Commandant. Both are now in police custody for 10 days and senior police officers are questioning them.
The state government, which has handed over the case to the Crimil Investigation Department (CID), also constituted a four-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the incident.
Numerous theories and claims have surfaced regarding the reason behind the jourlist’s killing, the second incident involving a media man in the state.
Earlier, 28-year-old TV reporter Santanu Bhowmik was hacked to death while covering an event of a tribal party at Mandai in western Tripura on September 20.
“Syandan Patrika” editor and Tripura Newspaper Society President Subal Kumar Dey alleged his reporter was targeted by the commandant as the former had written many stories against him in the newspaper.
“It was a pre-planned cold-blooded assassition and they tried to hide the body to destroy evidence. Bhowmik was killed as he had exposed the TSR commandant’s illegal acts,” Dey told the media.
Police, however, claim Bhowmik had stolen an envelope containing a huge amount of money or some confidential documents from Debbarma’s table while the latter was in the toilet after their meeting in the office chamber.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, who is now in Delhi, has said he will submit a report to Union Home Minister Rajth Singh on Bhowmik’s killing.
The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist has criticised the Bharatiya Jata Party (BJP) for politicising the jourlist’s killing.
The Congress has demanded a high-level inquiry into the murder. The BJP has demanded the resigtion of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio.
Various jourlists organisations in the Northeast including the Tripura Working Jourlists Association, Tripura Jourlists Union (TJU) and the Agartala Press Club have also denounced the killing and demanded a probe.(IANS)