Section 144 imposed in Agartala following killing of Tripura journalist Shantanu Bhowmik

Vidwan Reddy
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A day after television journalist Shantanu Bhowmik was beaten to death while covering the clashes between Indigenous People's Front of Tripura (IPFT) and Tripura Rajaer Upajati Ganamukti Parishad (TRUGP) in Mandai, West Tripura, the police imposed section 144 on Thursday. 

Two weeks ago, Kannada journalist Gauri Lankesh was brutally murdered by unknown assailants in Bangalore. Now, in the north-eastern state of Tripura, mob violence took the life of a young broadcast journalist.   

Demanding the arrest of the culprits, journalists staged a protest outside chief minister Manik Sarkar's residence on Wednesday night.

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The state government has ordered an inquiry into the murder of the Tripura journalist.

So far, four members of the IPFT are arrested by the police in connection with the incident. Meanwhile, the Tripura Journalists' Union (TJU) demanded a CBI investigation.

West Tripura district Superintendent of Police Abhijit Saptarshi said additional forces were deployed in the area following violent clashes in Mandai.

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Following the murder, political parties got into a war of words. Currently, CPI (M) is ruling the state.

Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar

The party, through its official Twitter account, blamed the BJP for the murder, Indian Express reported. "CPIM strongly condemns this brutal murder! Murder of Journalist in Tripura by BJP backed IPFT Goons show BJP's frustration in Tripura & overall pattern of silencing Journalists! Shame.

"Manik Sarkar run Left govt by its strenuous efforts brought peace, Unity & withdrawal of AFSPA to border State of Tripura. With assembly elections coming a concerted efforts being made by BJP & separatist IPFT to send Tripura back to those dark days of '80's."

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CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury pinned the blame on BJP. He tweeted, "This ghastly act is about BJP-RSS' approach to journalists and silencing voices. How desperate it is in Tripura to resort to such tactics. RSS-BJP's time-tested recipe of preparing for elections is through murder and violence. Tripura will not succumb to their intimidation."

On Wednesday, the state BJP condemned the murder and said: "law and order is nonexistent only violence under CPI(M) rule."

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