Guwahati, November 21: In another such incident, Tripura has lost one more journalist on November 21 noon. As reported by the local media outlets, Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, who used to work for a Tripura based Bengali newspaper, was gunned down by soldiers who belonged to the Tripura State Rifles
Sudip Dutta Bhowmik
Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has strongly condemned the repeated murder of scribes in Tripura and has urged the Manik Sarkar led government in Agartala to take serious note of the development.
The incident took place in front of TSR 2nd Battalion office at Khayerpur Bodhjung locality. “Tripura had lost a young journalist, Shantanu Bhowmik, to assailants on September 20 and within two months the state has reported one more journo-murder. It is shocking and the state Chief Minister, also in charge of home portfolio, must take the call seriously” said a JFA statement.
With Sudip’s killing, India has lost ten journalists in 11 months of the year. The largest democracy in the globe earlier witnessed the murder of journalist Rajesh Mishra in Uttar Pradesh on October. The string of journo-killings began with Hari Prakash (killed on January 2) and the trend continued with the murders of Brajesh Kumar Singh (January 3), Shyam Sharma (May 15), Kamlesh Jain (May 31), Surender Singh Rana (July 29), Gauri Lankesh (September 5), Shantanu Bhowmik (September 20) and KJ Singh (September 23).
India is ranked 136th among 180 countries in its RSF’s World Press Freedom Index (2017), which is just ahead of its neighbors Pakistan (139th), Sri Lanka (141) and Bangladesh (146). The populous country lost six journalists to perpetrators in 2016, which was preceded by five cases in 2015.
“It is alarming that the number of journo-murders has increased drastically this year. The Union government in New Delhi must not buy more time for formulating a strict policy to safeguard the media persons and ensure justice to the victim families” added the statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria.