Sudip Datta Bhowmik, a 52-year-old senior reporter from Syandan Patrika in Tripura, was killed by a constable of the 2nd Tripura State Rifles (TSR). A day after Bhowmik was shot dead, his editor, Subal Kumar Dey, said that the killing took place because he reported a series of stories on “irregularities in finances and corruption cases” which involved TSR Commandant Tapan Debbarma. The police said that Bhowmik had also reported on commandant’s “extramarital affair”.
“Tapan Debbarma, the 2nd TSR Commandant called Bhowmik and murdered him in cold blood. His crime was that he had exposed Debbarma’s involvement in a number of financial irregularities and corruption cases,” alleged Dey, the editor and owner of Syandan Patrika according to a report by The Indian Express.
Debbarama was arrested on Wednesday morning. Nanda Reang, his personal guard was arrested on Tuesday. Both were sent to police custody for 10 days. Both Debbarma and Reang have been charged under IPC Section 302. Dey added, “In the last few months, Sudip wrote three detailed reports about financial irregularities which were done by Debbarma in the 2nd Tripura State Rifles. The reports by Bhowmik pointed out that Debbarma’s irregularities were close to Rs 10 crore.”
“Debbarma was up for an IPS nomination but that never came because of our reports,” he claimed.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to probe Bhowmik’s death which was headed by DIG Arindam Nath. Nath said that they wouldn’t mind looking into Bhowmik’s reports on Debbarma. He said, “Sudip Bhowmik wrote many reports in Syandan Patrika on the corruption cases which involved Debbarma. On September 20, he even wrote about Debbarma’s alleged extramarital affair.”
On Tuesday, Tipu Sultan, another reporter from Syandan Patrika, found Bhowmik’s motorcycle outside battalion headquarters gate. “As more journalists arrived at the battalion gate, we entered the office compound. We were told that Bhowmik was shot after he was trying to rub after an altercation with the officer,” said Dey.
“A junior officer took us away from the commandant’s office, but I could see bloodstains on the door of Debbarma’s office. I saw that the floor of Debbarma’s office had been mopped recently even the pathway leading to his office was cleaned. He must have been killed inside the office, and then dragged out to the open field to make it look like he was fleeing,” alleged Dey.