AGARTALA: A bandh called by the opposition BJP and the Congress today to protest the killing of a journalist inside the battalion headquarters of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) hit normal life in Tripura.
While the BJP called a dawn-to-dusk bandh demanding a CBI inquiry and resignation of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, the Congress called a 24-hour bandh seeking an investigation by the CBI.
Sudip Datta Bhaumick, the reporter of a Bengali daily 'Syandan Patrika', was shot dead on Tuesday and the commandant of the 2nd battalion of the counter-insurgency paramilitary force and a TSR constable were arrested in this connection.
Shops and markets were closed and vehicles were off the roads in the state in view of the bandh.
Schools, colleges, banks and financial institutions remained closed and attendance was poor in government offices.
The police said adequate security measures have been taken and there has been no untoward incident till noon.
Barring 'Daily Desher Katha', the mouthpiece of the ruling CPI-M, all other newspapers left their editorial columns blank today in protest against the killing.
The decision to leave the editorial column blank was taken during a meeting among editors held here yesterday, Subal Kumar Dey, Editor of 'Syandan Patrika', where the slain journalist worked told reporters.
Television channels will also display a picture of the journalist every hour, Pranab Sarkar, Secretary of Tripura Journalists Union, said.
President of the state unit of BJP, Biplab Deb said, "Though we are against the politics of bandh, this time we are helpless because two journalists were killed in the state within two months." On September 20, Santanu Bhowmick was killed at Mandai in West Tripura district when he went to cover an agitation by the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT).
The ruling CPI-M opposed the bandh, saying parties were politicising the killing of the journalists, though the state government had taken prompt action.
A three-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by DIG, Southern Range, Arindam Nath was formed yesterday to investigate the killing, the state government said in a statement.