Miffed with the progress in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of two working journalists in Tripura, journalists in the state threatened with an agitation Friday. The scribes demanded that the truth behind the murders of television journalist Santanu Bhowmik and crime reporter Sudip Dutta Bhowmik should be made public without delay.
Santanu Bhowmik, a journalist employed with Channel DinRaat, a local news channel, was hacked to death while covering political protests at Mandai, 25 Km from Agartala, on September 20, 2017, while Sudip Dutta Bhowmik used to work for Syandan Patrika, a local Bengali newspaper. He was shot dead inside Tripura State Rifles 2nd battalion headquarters at RK Nagar in West Tripura on November 21 in the same year.
The Agartala Press Club Friday organised a candlelight protest demanding the immediate release of the investigation report on the murder of Santanu and Sudip Dutta Bhowmik.
“Santanu Bhowmik was murdered on this day two year back. The then state government tried to form Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe this issue. But journalists protested and CBI probe was ordered. But we are very unhappy and dissatisfied with progress of investigation,” Agartala Press Club secretary Pranab Sarkar told media.
He also said that journos would launch largescale movement unless report of the investigation was published soon.
The twin murders took centre stage of politics in the Left-ruled Tripura in 2017 as media persons staged candlelight protest demanding CBI probe for 100 days after Santanu Bhowmik’s murder.
Then-ruling CPI(M) accused Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) cadres of being involved with Santanu’s death. However, IPFT, which is now a partner in state government with BJP, declined the allegations and demanded a CBI probe.
Santanu’s father Sadhan Bhowmik also expressed distrust on Tripura Police for probing his son’s death and demanded a CBI probe.
The demand of CBI inquiry on journalists’ murders later found a mention in BJP’s ‘Vision Document’ and shortly after BJP-IFPT government was formed in March, 2018, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb asked CBI to take over the probe.
“The nation’s premier investigation agency is probing Santanu’s death. But two years on, we haven’t known who killed him. We are very unhappy at this progress,” Sarkar said.