The paramilitary officer whose bodyguard allegedly shot dead a senior journalist after an argument over his request for a meeting at a camp in Tripura has been arrested, the police said on Wednesday. Tapan Debbarma, a commandant of the Tripura State Rifles, was arrested this morning for the killing of crime reporter Sudip Dutta Bhaumik at the headquarters of the counter-insurgency paramilitary force, around 30 km from capital Agartala.
The soldier who fired the shot was arrested last evening. The killing has triggered outrage and protests in the state, impelling the Manik Sarkar government to order an investigation by the CID or Criminal Investigation Department.
On Tuesday, Bhaumik, 50, had requested a meeting with officer Debbarma when he had an argument with the soldier posted as a bodyguard. The police say soldier Nandu Kumar Reang opened fire from his AK-47 assault rifle, killing the father of two on the spot.
Reang has claimed that the shot was fired when the journalist tried to snatch his rifle. Bhaumik worked for leading Bengali newspaper Syandan Patrika and TV channel ‘Vanguard’ in Tripura, where several tribal militant groups oppose Bengali-speaking immigrants.
This is the third high profile media killing in three months – the second just in Tripura.