A journalist working for a local television channel was killed on Wednesday afternoon in an attack by tribal party cadres in Tripura.

The journalist, Shantanu Bhowmik, was hacked to death while covering clashes between Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) and Tripura Upajati Gan Mukti Parishad (TRUGP) at Mandai in western Tripura after Tuesday’s violent attacks.

After the incident, Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was imposed in West Tripura, Khowai and eight other places.

“Police resorted to lathicharge and dispersed the mob in Mandai as they assembled there violating the prohibitory orders. The IPFT members killed journalist Shantanu Bhowmik, 28, during the melee. Police later recovered his body and brought it to government-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital,” a police official said.

Bhowmik along with his colleagues had gone to Mandai to cover the development there.

Later, Deputy Inspector General of Police Arindam Nath told IANS that police subsequently arrested four IPFT members from the spot, 35 km north of here.

Wednesday’s incident at Mandai was an upshot of Tuesday’s series of violent attacks across the state. 

On Tuesday, over 60 members of TRUGP were injured in separate attacks allegedly by rival IPFT cadres at 12 places in Tripura.

The injured also included women and a police official. Of the 60 injured, 11 TRUGP members were seriously wounded and were admitted to the government-run medical college and hospital here.

TRUGP President Jitendra Chowdhury said: “The IPFT members attacked the TRUGP men and women when the latter were coming in vehicles to Agartala from different places in Tripura to attend a party rally here.”

The IPFT cadres also burnt down at least two buses in which the TRUGP men were travelling, though no one was injured.

The TRUGP rally was addressed by Chief Minister and CPI-M politburo member Manik Sarkar, party President and Lok Sabha member Jitendra Chowdhury, and Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) Chief Executive member Radha Charan Debbarma, among other leaders.

The IPFT and the Twipraland State Party have been agitating for upgrading the existing TTAADC to a separate tribal state.

First Published | 20 September 2017 8:17 PM
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