A journalist working with a local television news channel in Tripura was beaten to death while covering a clash between the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) in Mandai, in West Tripura, on Wednesday afternoon.
Tripura DIG Arindam Nath said four IPFT members have been arrested in connection with the incident. According to reports, Shantanu Bhowmik, 28, a reporter with Dinraat channel, had gone to Mandai, about 35 kilometres from Agartala, to cover the clash between IPFT and TRUGP, the CPI(M)’s tribal wing. Even as the police resorted to a lathicharge to disperse the crowd, Bhowmik was attacked by the mob.
“He was first hit on his legs with a stick… when he fell down on the road, they hit him on his head. The mob later dragged his body and hid it behind the local stadium. It was gruesome,” said a journalist from Agartala. While the incident took place at about 12.30 pm, Bhowmik’s body was later recovered by the police from behind the stadium.
The Tripura Journalists’ Union (TJU) has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident. The Agartala Press Club and Tripura Working Journalists’ Association (TWJA) are organising a silent funeral procession in Agartala on Thursday.