Agartala, Sep 26: The Tripura government on Tuesday decided to constitute an SIT headed by a senior IPS officer to probe the brutal murder of local television journalist Santanu Bhowmik and to give Rs 10 lakh to the bereaved family, a Minister said.
The Press Council of India has already sent a team to Tripura to inquire into the last week’s killing.
The Cabinet discussed the murder and decided to constitute a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by a senior Indian Police Service officer to probe it,” Information and Finance Minister Bhanulal Saha told reporters after the cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the home portfolio.
“As his mother is a government employee and his younger sister is still studying, the government, despite its willingness, is unable to offer a government job to Santanu’s family,” Saha added.
About a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation or a High Court Judge, as demanded by journalists’ organisations and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress, the Minister said the SIT probe had been decided on after a review of the progress of the probe in the case.
“People must keep faith in police’s ability in handling such cases. We hope the police will be able to provide justice to the victim’s family,” he added.
Deputy Inspector General of Police (Southern Range) Arindam Nath told IANS that so far three people, including main accused Sachin Debbarma, have been arrested for the killing of the journalist.
Sachin, a surrendered militant of National Liberation Front of Tripura and currently a member of tribal outfit Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT), was involved in crime in Mandai area in western Tripura where the journalist was killed, police said.
Meanwhile, the situation returned to normal on Tuesday in most parts of west Tripura and Khowai districts where IPFT supporters have allegedly carried out a series of attacks since September 19, including the one in which the 28-year-old journalist was killed.
However, police said, 29-year-old driver Jiban Debnath of a private vehicle was still missing since September 20 and a search was on for him.
A journalist of a Delhi-based newspaper had hired the private vehicle to visit Khumulwng along with a local guide. IPFT members attacked them and burnt the vehicle. While the journalist and his guide reported to the police on September 21, the driver remains missing.