GUWAHATI: The Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura (IPFT) on Friday slammed the CPI-M — a major constituent of Tripura’s ruling Left Front — for implicating the tribal-based party in the murder of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik.
The IPFT accused the CPI-M of hatching a conspiracy to tarnish the former’s image ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in the state. It claimed that the CPI-M was nervous after over 5,000 tribals had deserted the party to be with the IPFT.
The IPFT’s reaction came following the revelation that the 28-year old slain journalist was a member of the Students’ Federation of India with links to the CPI-M.
He was hacked to death at Mandai in Tripura West district, 28 km away from state capital Agartala, on Wednesday while he was covering a clash between the supporters of IPFT and CPI-M’s tribal wing Ganamukti Parishad. The police have arrested two IPFT supporters in connection with the murder.
“The CPI-M is nervous as it is fast losing its ground in tribal areas. As such, it is plotting to tarnish the IPFT’s image by implicating the party to the murder,” alleged IPFT general secretary, MK Jamatia.
Narrating the violence at Mandai, he said the IPFT workers had blocked a road in protest against the destruction of party flags and festoons. When the protest was nearing its end, cadres of the Left parties appeared from nowhere and launched an attack on the protestors in which many of them were injured, he alleged.
Describing the death of the journalist as unfortunate, Jamatia demanded that the incident be probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CPI-M said the IPFT was trying to shield the murderers by demanding a CBI probe.
“We are not surprised that the IPFT is demanding a CBI investigation. The BJP has raised the demand and the IPFT is following their masters. The recent actions of the IPFT workers and supporters resembled that of the extremists but people are no fools,” CPI-M state secretary Bijan Dhar said.