CBI refuses to take Tripura journalists murder case

The BJP-IPFT government referred journalists Shantanu Bhowmik and Sudip Datta Bhowmik's murder cases to CBI for investigation.

Published: 17th May 2018 12:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2018 12:55 PM   |  A+A-

Central Bureau of Investigation. (File photo | PTI)

By UNI

AGARTALA: Uncertainty over CBI investigation into the murder of journalist Shantanu Bhowmik and Sudip Datta Bhowmik who were killed in separate incidents in mysterious circumstances in two months gap last year, as CBI authority showed unwillingness to take the cases.

During the hearing of CBI plea of Shantanu's father in the high court, the CBI advocate informed the division bench comprises with the chief justice Ajoy Rastogi and justice Arindam Lodh that CBI's ASP of Shillong office made it clear that they would not able to undertake the investigation.

However, the court fixed the date of next hearing on July 4.

Soon after coming in power, the BJP-IPFT government referred both the journalists murder cases to CBI for investigation and subsequently persuaded the matter to government of India seeking approval.

The advocate general Arun Kanti Bhowmik had appraised the decision of the state government to the court and pleaded for sending the cases to CBI.

However, CBI's unwillingness made the state government as well as the media fraternity upset.

The CBI ASP of Shillong mentioned three specific reasons for not taking up the investigation that state government's SIT has already finished the investigation and submitted chargesheet, CBI did not find any state or national interest to carry out investigation into Shantanu's murder and many important cases have been piled up with CBI but not able to investigate due to infrastructure problem.

In these situations, taking up Shantanu's murder case for investigation is difficult for CBI, he argued.

The journalists bodies, on the other, expressed annoyance over the CBI response and stated if in the case of journalists murder CBI shows unwillingness despite knowing the fact that SIT of the pervious government had made all attempts to save the actual culprits and half of the chargesheeted persons in the murder case were not even arrested yet.

"We had gone to Chief Justice, Prime Minister and President of India seeking independent probe into the murder of Sudip and Shantanu, as we knew how the investigation was manipulated by the SIT to save the criminals.

Both the families went to court seeking CBI probe and we also felt CBI can give justice but the stand of CBI officer is unintended and not satisfactory," said veteran journalist Subal Kumar Dey.

On the other, Additional District & Session Judge Goutam Sarkar two days ago rejected the bail application of former TSR commandant Tapan Debbarma, driver Nanda Kumar Reang Riflemen Amit Debbarma and Dharmendra Singh who were arrested in connection with the killing of journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik at the battalion headquarter on November 21 last year.

The court had framed the charges against the four accused under Sections 302, 120(B) and 27(2) of Arms Act.

The trial will begin on June 13 and to be completed on July 7 next.

Altogether 64 witnessed will record their deposition in the case.

The CBI has not yet responded to the state government requisition for CBI enquiry.

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