Journalist killed in Tripura, second in two months

ITANAGAR, Nov 21: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the authorities to shed all possible light on the murder of Sudip Datta Bhaunik, a reporter who was gunned down today by a member of the 2nd Tripura State Rifles (TSR) at R K Nagar, a short distance from Agartala on Tuesday.
An experienced journalist working for the regional Bengali-language daily Syandan Patrika and local TV channel Venguard, Bhaunik had arranged an interview with the 2nd TSR’s commandant.
But, according to Syandan Patrika editor Subal Dey, when he arrived for the interview, an argument ensued with the commandant’s bodyguard, who ended up shooting him.
He died on the spot. Dey alleged that the killing was an act of vengeance by TSR officials as the slain journalist recently exposed gross financial irregularities in the paramilitary force.
“We are appalled by this horrific report and our thoughts are naturally with the victim’s family,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.
“Sudip Datta Bhaunik is the second journalist to be killed in Tripura in the past two months, following Shantanu Bhowmick, who was lynched just 35 km from where Bhaunik was gunned down. The local authorities and federal government must take concrete measures to protect journalists”, Bastard said.
The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) strongly condemned the cold blooded murder of a senior journalist.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, IJU President S N Sinha and Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli condemned the cold-blooded murder of Sudip Datta Bhowmik by a jawan of an armed force.
The IJU has demanded that the state government take immediate steps to instil confidence among the journalists that they are safe to discharge their duty without fear.
IJU urged the Press Council of India to take suo motu cognizance of the murder and take suitable steps to bring the murders of the journalists to the book.