Journalists had gathered about 25 odd kilometres from Agartala to cover the rally of Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) in Mandai on Wednesday afternoon.
The IPFT supporters did not want their acts to be recorded and controlled the cameramen from switching their equipment on. The police had to swiftly move in since the rally grew restless, however, it turned into a riot-like situation.
One young journalist, Shantanu Bhoumik, working for Dinrat News channel, decided otherwise and in her urge to brave the onslaught, he had recorded the scenes on his mobile. As he took a few steps ahead, almost promptly, the police lathi-charged the protestors.
Amidst all the commotion, it is alleged that some of those present in the crowd stabbed Shantanu, as reported by News18. He young journalist succumbed to death, by the time police could pick up the 26-year-old and take him to the government-run GB Pant Medical College and Hospital.
After this unfortunate incident, all journalists from Agartala sat on a protest demonstration outside the Chief Minister’s residence till 10:30pm on Wednesday.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar later assured media persons that a thorough probe would take place and that the guilty will be taken to task. On Thursday, Shantanu’s body will be kept at the press club from noon, before being taken for the final journey.
Prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in more than 12 places in the state following clashes between IPFT and CPI (M)’s tribal wing – Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP). Internet services have also been shut down across the state. Notably, IPFT has been agitating for a separate tribal state and is known for its violent protests.
A total number of close to 30 journalists have been reportedly killed across the North East in last 12 years, thereby, making it one of the most dangerous places for media in the country.
India recently witnessed a shocking murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh at her Bangalore residence on Sep 5. Lankesh was editor in Lankesh Patrike, a Kannada weekly started by her father P. Lankesh, and ran her own weekly called Gauri Lankesh Patrike. A nation wide protest was held condemning her brutal murder by several media people and also many other prominent personalities.