The Left Front government in Tripura has constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to inquire into the brutal killing of Shantanu Bhowmik, a journalist with a local cable television news channel of Agartala by a mob on September 20.
While Tripura IGP (TRS Training) GS Rao has been named head of the SIT, it will have four other members which includes DIG(CID) Uttam Mazumdar, Additional SP Kishore Debbarma, and Inspectors Prithvish Bhattacharjee and Nityananda Sarkar.
Bhowmik (29), who was a reporter with Din-Raat, an Agartala-based cable TV news channel, was beaten to death while he was on an assignment to cover an incident where members of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) had blocked roads and had clashed with the police at Mandai, about 35 km east of the state capital on September 20.
The decision to constitute a SIT was taken by the Manik Sarkar cabinet following demand by journalists’ organisations and opposition political parties to order a high-level inquiry to identify the culprits. But even as the state government announced its decision to form a SIT, nine journalists’ bodies on Monday demanded to hand over the probe to the CBI. Members of these groups also staged a demonstration in Agartala for a CBI probe.
Shantanu Bhowmik, a former general secretary of the SFI local committee in Jirania, his hometown about 30 km from Agartala, was working as a journalist since 2012. While he first worked with, now-defunct, Khabar-365 channel owned by Rose Valley, he shifted to TV24 in 2014, and was with Din-Raat since April this year.