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Tripura journalist attacked by petroleum mafia

Tripura journalist attacked by petroleum mafia

Agartala, Jun 19 (UNI) A journalist was critically injured last night after he was allegedly attacked by a gang of petroleum mafia, in Dharmanagar town of North Tripura.

According to reports, the prime accused Simin Mia and Mihir Deb, who had been involved with a petroleum theft gang in Dharmanagar oil depot for past many years, had invited Suman in a city corner for sharing some news around 2230 hrs last night.

Suman had done several stories on oil theft from the depot and tanker by the gang, which involved IOCL staff, police and some officers of civil administration. The gang had been running parallel oil business between Assam and Tripura. But Suman's stories on the gang forced the police to take action recently, which made the gang unhappy.

During conversation, Simin Mia assisted by Mihir pulled out a dagger and slit the jounalist's neck, attempting to kill him on the spot.

Both the accused escaped when people gathered hearing Suman's cries for help. People found the young journo lying in a pool of blood on the street. He was immediately shifted to a hospital.

The doctors attending him said, though the attackers attempted to cut off his respiratory track, the weapon could injure his vocal cords only. The scribe was, however,out of danger, the doctors informed.

Police launched a massive hunt to grab the absconding perpetrators but was unable to trace them till the writing of this report. The inter-state border check post of Assam and Mizoram had been alerted while BSF was asked to be vigilant, police said.

Meanwhile, the journalists of Dharmanagar alleged that the lackadaisical attitude of police allowed the culprits to flee to Assam. They accused the police of delayed action and demanded immediate arrest of the accused.

Tripura Working Journalists Association, Tripura Journalists Union and Agartala Press Club separately protested the attack on journalist and demanded their exemplary punishment.

The organisations also urged the government to pass separate Act for the protection of journalists and sensitizing police to put an apparatus in place to ensure security of the journalists of the state.

The organisations also sought the attention of the state government to undertake steps for materializing CBI enquiry into the murder of two journalists Shantanu Bhowmik and Sudip Datta Bhowmik last year in mysterious circumstances.

Despite cabinet's decision, no progress was made in handing over the two murder cases to CBI, on the contrary the court tried the case as per the SIT charge sheet.

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