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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Tripura HC grants bail to senior police officer, prime accused in journalist murder case during CPM regime

The Tripura High Court on Wednesday granted bail to senior police officer Tapan Debbarma, the prime accused in the murder of journalist Sudip Dutta Bhowmik on November 21, 2017.

Debbarma, the commandant of the Second Battalion of Tripura State Rifles (TSR), was arrested days after Bhowmik was shot dead at the complex of the force headquarters in Ramchandra Nagar in West Tripura district.

While granting bail, the court directed Debbarma to appear before the inquiry officer every week.

Senior lawyer Pijush Kanti Biswas, who represented the accused in the high court, said that the bail was granted by Justice T. Amarnath Gour following a special leave petition filed in the Supreme Court, which asked the high court to consider the bail of Debbarma after examining the relevant matters.

On September 20, 2017, television journalist Santanu Dutta Bhowmik was murdered in Mandwai, 25 km from Agartala, while he was covering a gathering of a local political party.

Both the murder cases are being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in compliance with the demand raised by various journalists’ organisations.

The then Left Front government had constituted two separate Special Investigation Teams (SITs) to probe the killings.

But following the demands of various media organisations, including the Agartala Press Club, the BJP government after coming to power in March 2018, handed over the cases to CBI.

Several TSR personnel — including the force’s Second Battalion Commandant Tapan Debbarma, who is a senior Tripura Police Service (TPS) officer — were arrested for the murder of Sudip Dutta Bhowmik, but no one has been arrested for the murder of Santanu Bhowmik yet.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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