Irked over news reports, oil thieves slit Tripura television journo’s throat

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AGARTALA, JUNE 20: A group of people, allegedly involved in oil pilferage scam, tried to kill a journalist late on Monday night by slitting his throat with a knife at Dharmanagar in Tripura, which had witnessed the killing of 2 media persons late last year.
Suman Debnath, 30, a TV journalist, suffered a deep cut on his throat when he was attacked by Simin Miya at Dharmanagar oil depot. Debnath had gone to the spot after Miya called him for a meeting, apparently to discuss news reports published about the gang. While Miya is absconding, police have arrested his accomplice Mihir Deb on Tuesday.
Debnath, who is undergoing treatment in the district hospital, is out of danger. He said he was attacked because he had reported the criminal activities of the group in detail. He added that Miya attacked him with a dagger in the middle of the conversation. “The attackers ran away when I cried out to attract the attention of people,” he said. Doctors said Denath survived only because the dagger struck his vocal cord but missed the respiratory tract.
Earlier, Debnath had run a number of reports on how the gang was pilfering oil from the depot and tankers allegedly with the help of Indian Oil staff and civil and police officials. Debnath claimed that the gang was active in Assam as well.
Police sources said a crackdown had begun against the gang recently, which possibly could have angered the criminals. Security was put on alert at the inter-state check post on Tripura’s borders with Assam and Mizoram to catch Miya and other accomplices. “We have also asked BSF to keep a watch on the movements of the gang,” said a police official.
On September 20, Santanu Bhowmik, a print journalist, was killed while he was covering a clash between CPM and Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura. On November 21, another journalist, Sudip Datta Bhowmik, was shot dead inside the Tripura State Rifles battalion headquarters near here.
(TNN)