Prohibitory orders imposed in two Tripura districts after journalist's murder

Prohibitory orders imposed in two Tripura districts after journalist's murder

Shantanu Bhowmik was allegedly killed while he was covering clashes between the Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) in Mandai, in West Tripura.

West Tripura district Superintendent of Police Abhijit Saptarshi said additional forces were deployed in the area following violent clashes in Mandai.

So far, four members of the IPFT are arrested by the police in connection with the incident. The killing has sparked widespread protests in the state and forcing the district administration to impose a curfew in and around Agartala. However, there have been some local reports claiming that Bhowmik was beaten up by agitated IPFT activists when he was trying to cover the outfit's road blockade in Mandwai as the protestors did not want reporters and camerapersons to record the events. "Police later recovered his body and brought it to government-run Govind Ballabh Pant Medical College and Hospital", a police official said.

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

The IPFT supporters did not want their acts to be recorded and controlled the cameramen from switching their equipment on. 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.

TTAADC has jurisdiction over two-thirds of Tripura's 10,491 sq km area that is home to over 12,16,000 people, mostly tribals. For many years, IPFT has been fighting for a separate state for indigenous Tripuris, which the ruling Left Front has always opposed. "Law and order nonexistent only violence under CPI (M) rule".

Moreover, the party also failed to gain a majority in the 2013 Tripura assembly elections.