Agartala, Dec 6,2017: Press Council of India (PCI) Chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, who earlier took suo motu cognizance of the killings of Tripura journalists, is now on a visit to the state to take stock of the ground realities, an official said here on Wednesday.
Justice Prasad, who is accompanied by two other associates, arrived here on a three-day visit on Tuesday night, and the next day he visited the homes of the victims and talked to the grieving families.
“The PCI Chairman also talked to various media bodies, including the Agartala Press Club and individuals, on the issue. He also met Chief Minister Manik Sarkar and is scheduled to meet Chief Secretary Sanjeev Ranjan, Director General of Police Akhil Kumar Shukla and other senior police officials,” an Information Department official said.
A local newspaper journalist, Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, 50, was shot dead inside the Tripura State Rifles (TSR) 2nd Battalion headquarters at Ramchandra Nagar in West Tripura district on November 21.
Young television journalist Santanu Bhowmik, 28, was hacked to death while covering a demonstration of a tribal-based political party at Mandai, 25 km from Agartala, on September 20.
To probe the killings, the Tripura government had earlier constituted two separate Special Investigation Teams (SIT) headed by Deputy Inspector General of Police Arindam Nath and Inspector General of Police (IGP) G.S. Rao.
The SIT led by Nath has so far arrested four TSR personnel, including TSR 2nd Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma, who is a senior Tripura Police Service (TPS) officer (1998 batch) and waiting for IPS nomination.
In the Bhowmik murder case, too, the IGP Rao-led SIT arrested four youths.
State police chief Akhil Kumar Sukhla said that investigations by both SITs were progressing well.
“The SITs would submit their charge-sheets well ahead of the stipulated 90 days. The investigators are waiting for some information about the two murders from the state forensic laboratory,” Sukhla said.