Agartala: A reporter with a local television news channel of Tripura, was killed by a mob at Mandai in West Tripura district on Wednesday afternoon, with police later arresting four members of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in connection with the incident. Mandai is about 35 km from Agartala, the state capital.
Bhowmik, who worked for Dinraat, a local cable news channel, had gone to Mandai to cover an incident where members of the IPFT and Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) had gathered amid rising tension following some clashes that had taken place between the two sides on Tuesday. Even as the police had resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the crowd, Bhowmik, who was caught in the melee, came under attack of the mob, and he died on the spot.
“He was first hit on his legs by a stick, after which they hit him on his head when he fell down on the road. The mob later dragged his body and hid it behind the local stadium. It was gruesome,” a journalist in Agartala said.
While the incident took place at around 12:30 PM, his body was later recovered by the police from behind the local stadium and taken to Agartala where he was declared as “brought dead” in the GB Hospital. Tripura DIG Arindam Nath said four persons – all members of the IPFT – have been arrested in connection with the murder of Bhowmik.
While Bhowmik’s killing has triggered off large-scale protest in the state that is heading for assembly elections early next year, the Tripura Journalists’ Union (TJU) has demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident leading to the death of a journalist. The Agartala Press Club and Tripura Working Journalists’ Association (TWJA) on the other hand has organized a silent procession with Bhowmik’s body in Agartala on Thursday after the post-mortem examination is carried out.