An experienced journalist working for the regional Bengali-language daily Syandan Patrika and local TV channel Venguard, Bhaunik had arranged an interview with the 2nd TSR’s commandant.
But, according to Syandan Patrika editor Subal Dey, when he arrived for the interview, an argument ensued with the commandant’s bodyguard, who ended up shooting him. He died on the spot. Dey alleged that the killing was an act of vengeance by TSR officials as the slain journalist recently exposed gross financial irregularities in the paramilitary force.
“We are appalled by this horrific report and our thoughts are naturally with the victim’s family,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.
“Sudip Datta Bhaunik is the second journalist to be killed in Tripura in the past two months, following Shantanu Bhowmick, who was lynched just 35 km from where Bhaunik was gunned down. This situation is obviously unacceptable. Both the local authorities and federal government must take concrete measures to protect journalists.”
India is ranked 136th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2017 World Press Freedom Index.