News & Information From Northeast India

Tripura television journalist stabbed to death during rally coverage

Agartala-based television journalist Santanu Bhowmik was hacked to death by assailants when he was covering a rally in Agartala, according to the police.

Police said that agitated members of Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and CPI-M’s tribal wing Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) gathered at Mandai in western Tripura after Tuesday’s series of violent attacks across the state.

Superintendent of police of West district, Abhijit Saptarshi told news agency PTI that 28-year-old Santanu Bhowmik, a journalist from ‘Din Raat’ news channel, was covering the agitation and road blockade by the IPFT at Mandai when he was hit from behind and kidnapped.

Later, Bhowmik was found with serious injuries and was rushed to Agartala Medical College and Hospital where doctors declared him brought dead, the SP said.

Deputy inspector general of police Arindam Nath told IANS news agency that four IPFT members were arrested from the spot.

Earlier this month, another senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was assassinated in front of her house in Bangalore.

Prior to Gauri, Haryana-based television journalist Surender Singh Rana was shot dead on July 29. Rana, 35, was associated with Jammu-based news channel JK 24×7 News. The other victims include Kamlesh Jain, killed on May 31 in Madhya Pradesh; Shyam Sharma, May 15 in MP; Brajesh Kumar Singh, January 3 in Bihar and Hari Prakash January 2 in Jharkhand.

India lost five journalists to assailants in 2015, which was preceded by two cases in 2014. However, 2013 reported as many as 11 journalists’ murders, as three Northeast media employees – Sujit Bhattacharya, Ranjit Chowdhury and Balaram Ghosh from Tripura – fell victim to the perpetrators.

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