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CBI accepts probe plea in scribes’ murder

Correspondent

Agartala, April 24, 2018: The Central Bureau of Investigation, CBI, accepted recommendation of new BJP-IPFT alliance government to conduct probe in brutal murders of two journalists last year. A team of the central agency is expected to arrive here soon to commence investigation, official sources said on Tuesday. 

Tripura government earlier appraised the High Court about process to invoke probe by CBI in murder incidents. Advocate General Arun Kanti Bhowmik made the statement before the Division Bench in public interest litigation (PIL) to call the central agency in murder enquiry.

Santanu was killed while covering tension between supporters of the Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the CPI(M) at Mandwai, 25kms east of Agartala. Within two months another journalist senior crime reporter Sudip Datta Bhowmik was shot dead in headquarters of 2nd battalion of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) at Radha Kishore Nagar near Agartala.

While father of Santanu moved a PIL in High Court of Tripura for a CBI probe, family of Sudip also clamoured for CBI. The demand was supported by ten media organisations that spearheaded stir against murder of two journalists while discharging professional obligations.

In first meeting of council of ministers of BJP – IPFT coalition government adopted a resolution to refer murder cases of both the journalists to the CBI. State government officials said process almost completed to engage CBI in the gruesome murders that invited condemnation from across the world.

CBI advances in Rose Valley probe in Tripura

Correspondent

Agartala, April 24, 2018: Ending months of reluctance, CBI has finally directed its investigation against political bigwigs of Tripura in connection with Rose Valley scam. After former Social Welfare Minister Bijita Nath, CPI(M) stalwart and former PWD Minister Badal Chouhdury received notice from the central agency which already made considerable progress in other states like West Bengal, Assam and Odisha.

CBI has in a letter approached Speaker Rebati Mohan Das seeking his sanction to question Nath and Chouhdury. The ponzi company Rose Valley mastered several hundred crores during its 15 years operation in Tripura.

A number of ministers, some prominent leaders of CPI(M) and officials of immediate past government had a nexus with the Rose Valley. The company allegedly extended financial benefit in lieu of support.

Last year CBI briefly grilled Minister Bijita Nath and CPI(M) strongman Gautam Das. Both denied their involvement in the scam.

AFSPA removed from Meghalaya, eased in Arunachal

Correspondent

Agartala, April 23, 2018: Meghalaya has become third state in northeast India to have completely withdrawn the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA). The central government revoked the stringent law in compliance with recommendation of new rainbow coalition government of the state.

Mizoram and Tripura earlier vacated AFSPA. The centre also relaxed the act in Arunachal Pradesh where now eight police station limits come under its authority.

AFSPA however continues to remain enforced in Manipur and Nagaland states, and larger areas of Assam.

Spl audit in MGNREGA begins in Tripura

Correspondent

Agartala, April 23, 2018: Special MGNREGA has on Monday begun in Tripura as incumbent BJP-IPFT incumbent government has resolved to eradicate corruption in Tripura. Four of eight districts were taken in phase one of the audit and rest of the districts would be conducted in the second phase.

Jishnu Debbarma, State’s Deputy Chief Minister in charge of Finance, recently alleged of Rs 140 crore corruption in the central flagship programme during CPI(M) left front regime in the state.

3 soldiers die in mishap in AP

Correspondent

Itanagar, April 22, 2018: At least 3 soldiers died in a tragic mishap when their vehicle on a river in Arunachal Pradesh on Sunday. An army column was approaching towards Assam border for counter insurgency operation when the incident occurred.

Officials said some `18 soldiers were in the vehicle which slipped into Kundil River, Lower Dibang of Arunachal Pradesh. !5 soldiers were rescued alive while 3 drowned.

Two bodies recovered from. Search was on for the third. 

SIT in RSS workers disappearance mystery

Correspondent

Agartala, April 21, 2018: Tripura government has constituted a special investigation team (SIT) to solve 19 years old mystery of disappearance of four RSS pracharaks in north Tripura. They were reportedly kidnapped by the extremist outfit NLFT from Kanchancherra area.

Chief Minister Biplab Deb, also home minister, announced during an interview with a New Delhi based television channel. He did not elaborate further on the matter.

Floods return to Agartala

Correspondent

Agartala, April 20, 2018: incessant rains lasted for barely 30 minutes submerged many parts of Agartala on Friday. Situation is expected to worsen as monsoon arrived in the region. 

Streets were flooded leaving life and business out of gear. Condition slightly improved in the evening.

Apathy and negligence of concerned officers and staffs of CPI(M) controlled Agartala Municipal Corporation (AMC) were largely held responsible for regular occurrence of water logging problem in the city. Mechanised pumping system has been collapsed.

Senior photo journalist bereaved

Correspondent

Agartala, April 20, 2018: Journalist unions and colleagues mourned death of father of senior photo journalist Manish Acharjee. Ratan Kumar Acharjee, 72, breathed his last before dawn here on Friday.

The deceased was suffering from cancer ailment. Manish attached with Tripura’s largest circulated vernacular daily Dainik Sambad.

Tripura police detain 18 Rohingyas

Correspondent

Agartala, April 19, 2018: Tripura police on Thursday detained 18 people belonging to ‘stateless’ Rohingya evacuees from Myanmar. They were travelling in a Assam bound passenger bus when detected and detained at Teliamura on Khowai district.

The detainees include some women and few children. They reportedly entered Tripura from Bangladesh and were moving to Assam in search of work.

On November 29 last year, police took custody of two UNHCR certified families near Agartala. They were residing at Jammu for seven years prior to their journey in Tripura that shares border with Bangladesh on its three sides.

IFJ says attack an attempt to silence Patricia

Correspondent

Shillong, April 19, 2018: Two masked men on a motorbike threw a ‘petrol bomb’ (an improvised explosive device) on the wall of the house of Patricia Mukhim, the editor of The Shillong Times daily, in Umpling area in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya state in India’s north-east on April 17. 
 
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemns the attack as an attempt to intimidate the editor; and demands an urgent investigation in order to arrest and prosecute the attackers.
 
Mukhim heard an explosion and saw flames rising outside her home and found the wall below her bedroom window charred on April 17 evening. No one was injured in the incident. The award-winning editor posted a photo and wrote on her Facebook wall: “Those who did this ugly deed need to be arrested. I heard the explosion and saw the flames rising. It’s a terrible feeling.”
 
Mukhim had reportedly received death threats on Facebook some months back and had complained to the police and Facebook, but no action was taken. The editor said that someone unhappy with her editorials might have tried to silence her. She has written on issues like unregulated mining and the culture of violence and impunity around illegal mining.
 
The IFJ said: “The attack at the residence of The Shillong Times editor Patricia Mukhim is a clear attempt to intimidate and silence her voice. The IFJ condemns the attack and urges the authorities for an urgent investigation and punishment to the attackers. Such attacks, if not investigated properly, give rise to imounity for violence against journalists, thus threatening the independence of journalism and the lives of the journalists.”

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