By Debraj Deb
AGARTALA: Anup Debbarma, 26, a journalist engaged with a Tripura-based Kokborok TV channel – Kok Tripura, was injured in an assault by a BJP supporter at Khowai district at 7 PM this evening.
Anup’s wife Rinku Debbarma has filed FIR with the Khowai police station accusing one Sudip Debbarma of assaulting her husband while he was taking snacks at a shop in Amtali market this evening. Her her brother-in-law Pranesh Debbarma accompanied her husband to the market and witnessed the assault she claimed.
The journo is currently under treatment at Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital here with a head injury and wounds on his left hand. Hospital sources said he was out of danger with seven stitches on his head.
Sudip is a resident of Sipahihaor Amtali area, close to Anup’s residence. He threatened the journo after the Feb 18 assembly elections, Rinku said in her complaint to the police. She has also accused him of vandalizing their residence on March 03 when poll results were announced.
On the issue, Superintendent of Police (Khowai) Krishnendu Chakravertty told media that accused Sudip Debbarma was absconding. “Search operation has been launched to track him. We will arrest him soon”, the official said.
Senior journalist and secretary of Tripura Working Journalist Association’s (TWJA) Khowai chapter – Manik Sarkar said that the attack was a heinous and condemnable act.
“Attack on a journalist can’t be tolerated at any cost. As mediapersons, we act impartialy. We expect the same courtesy from everyone”, Sarkar said.
Young television journalist Santanu Bhowmik and senior crime reporter Sudip Dutta Bhowmik were killed within two months last year. Santanu was hacked to death while covering a political protest at Mandwi, 25 Km from here, on September 20 last year. Sudip Dutta Bhowmik was shot dead in the 2nd battalion headquarters of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) – the state’s own counter-insurgency force, at RK Nagar in West Tripura district on November 21 last year.
Sports and Youth Affairs minister and BJP MLA from Kamalpur Manoj Kanti Deb visited injured Anup Debbarma this evening. He was en route to Agartala.
BJP state spokesperson Mrinal Kanti Deb condemned the incident later this evening and demanded strict punishment for anyone accused with the attack.
However, he denied role of his party in the incident and said BJP supporters “will never attack” mediapersons. “These are standard tactics of CPM. They plant people in our party and make them do illegal things to malign us”, he said. Deb also said that the law will take its own course in the incident and his party would extend full cooperation.
Pradesh Congress vice president Tapas De condemned the attack but said BJP has become intolerant of criticism. “This attack is of a very heinous nature. All democratic minded people should come forward to stop all these nonsense”, De said.
De also said that the office of Duranta TV, a cable TV channel at Udaipur in Gomati district, 50 Km from here, two days back. “BJP and RSS are trying to create a fear factor to intimidate people and suppress criticism. They vandalized the television channel office in an attempt to create tension and fear, even of constructive criticism”, he said.