The Central Bureau of Investigation ( CBI ) has booked more than 300 unidentified members, and three leaders of Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura ( IPFT ), in connection with the killings of two journalists last yea. The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura is a coalition partner in the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government.
In September, journalist Shantanu Bhowmik was killed in the state’s Mandai block during clashes between members of the Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura and the Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad, the tribal wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). In November, a Tripura State Rifles officer allegedly shot dead another journalist, Sudip Datta Bhaumik, in RK Nagar near Agartala.
In the First Information Report, the three leaders of the Indigenous People’s Front have been identified as Balram Deb Barma, Dhirendra Deb Barma and the president of the party’s Mandwi divisional committee Amit Deb Barma. They have been charged with criminal conspiracy, murder, rioting, possession of deadly weapons and unlawful assembly, reported The Hindu.
On June 23, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb agreed to demand of the journalists’ organisation in the state and victims’ family members for a CBI inquiry. “Today, we feel relieved as the CBI is going to investigate both the cases,” Deb had told reporters. “With this, the BJP-IPFT government has fulfilled yet another promise made in the party’s vision document.”