CM Biplab Deb says CBI to probe killings of two journalists in Tripura

The CBI has agreed to take over investigations into the killings of two journalists Santanu Bhowmik and Sudip Dutta Bhowmik in Tripura last year, said Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb

Photo courtesy: Twitter/BjpBiplab
Photo courtesy: Twitter/BjpBiplab


The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has agreed to take over investigations into the killings of two journalists in Tripura last year, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb has

Santanu Bhowmik, who worked for a local television channel, was killed when he went to cover a road blockade agitation in the Mandwai area of West Tripura district on September 21 last year. Another journalist, Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, a crime reporter with a vernacular newspaper, was killed inside the headquarters of the Tripura State Rifles' (TSR) 2nd battalion at RK Nagar in the same district on November 20 last year.

The trial in the Sudip Dutta Bhowmik case in the Additional District and Sessions Judge Court was stopped following orders from the Tripura High Court.

The state police’s Special Investigating Team (SIT) had probed the killing and filed a charge sheet. It also investigated the Santanu Bhowmik case, but hasn’t filed a charge sheet yet

The CBI has decided to take over the investigations into the cases, said Deb. Deb told reporters late last night that the state cabinet had sent separate proposals to the Centre to probe the two cases to ensure justice to the affected families. "Today, we feel relieved as the CBI is going to investigate both the cases. With this, the BJP-IPFT government has fulfilled yet another promise made in the party's vision document," he said.

CBI sleuths would investigate the cases to ensure justice to the two families. The government had taken positive steps so that the media could work with full freedom in Tripura, he said. Deb said the government had already taken steps for a steep hike in pension for accredited journalists—from ₹1,000 to ₹10,000—and providing financial assistance to the ailing scribes.

Law Minister Ratan Lal Nath said democracy turns fragile "when the media is not free to perform its duty".

The Agartala Press Club and other journalists' bodies, which had staged protests in the capital town demanding a CBI probe into the killings, have welcomed the decision.

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