Journalist killing: Press Council asks for report from Tripura govt

Free Press Journal

The Press Council of India (PCI) has asked for a report from the Tripura government on the killing of a 48-year-old journalist allegedly by a constable of the Tripura State Rifle (TSR).

Sudip Datta Bhaumik, working with Bengali daily Syandan Patrika, was gunned down on Tuesday following an altercation with the TSR constable. The victim sustained an injury to the left side of his abdomen and was declared dead on arrival at the hospitalThe accused Nandu Riyang, allegedly shot Bhowmik at point-blank range and was later arrested.

A number of newspapers in the CPI(M)-ruled Tripura left their editorials blank on November 23 edition, a day after the Bhowmick’s death, in protest. Meanwhile, BJP and Congress call for two simultaneous bandhs to protest the killing.

The killing comes just two months after Santanu Bhowmick, a local television journalist was killed in September. Santanu was killed at Mandai in West Tripura district when he went to cover an agitation by the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).

A senior journalist and his elderly mother were found murdered on September 23 at their home in Mohali. While Karan Jeet Singh, 66, was found with his throat slit and with multiple stab wounds on his body, his mother Gurcharan Kaur, 92, had been strangled. The murderers were believed to be more than one in number. This was not the first time a journalist was murdered brutally. Early in September, the publisher and editor of Gauri Lankesh Patrike, Gauri Lankesh  was killed outside her home in Bengaluru  late on September 5th. She was shot in the head and chest by gunmen who arrived on motorcycle. There were also protests against her killing in several Indian cities.

India is among the deadliest countries for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which lists 41 instances over the past two and half decades, where it is reasonably certain that a journalist was murdered in direct reprisal for his or her work; was killed in crossfire during combat situations; or was killed while carrying out a dangerous assignment.
In India, the CPJ lists an additional 27 cases where its researchers are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the killings.