Strike against media murders cripples Agartala

Agartala, May 21 (IANS) A dawn-to-dusk strike called by the opposition Congress Tuesday to protest the killing of three newspaper employees paralysed this capital of Left-ruled Tripura.

“The strike was peaceful and no untoward incident has been reported so far,” a police official told reporters.

Markets, shops and business establishments, government offices, educational institutions, banks and financial institutions were shut.

Except some two-wheelers, and security and emergency service vehicles, roads were deserted.

Congress’s state chief Sudip Roy Barman and opposition leader Ratan Lal Nath organised a protest march in the strike-bound capital city.

The ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has also asked the government to probe the incident and nab the culprits. The party did not oppose the Congress-sponsored shutdown.

The three employees of Dainik Ganadoot, a vernacular daily, were killed by unidentified assailants Sunday.

“Chief Minister Manik Sarkar must resign owning moral responsibility for this barbaric crime. Congress has called a 12-hour strike in and around Agartala city Tuesday to protest the incident,” Congress spokesperson Asish Saha told reporters.

Senior police officials probing the sensational crime said they had got some important clues.

According to an official, two masked armed men Sunday came on a bike and barged into the Dainik Ganadoot office. They stabbed to death proof reader Sujit Bhattacharjee, 32, and seriously wounded manager Ranjit Chowdhury, 60, and driver Balaram Ghosh, 40, both of whom died on way to hospital.

The editor-cum-proprietor of Dainik Ganadoot, Sushil Chowdhury, who lives in the same building, told police that the assailants wanted to target him but killed the manager in a case of mistaken identity.

Police alerted all the police stations across Tripura as well as the Border Security Force deployed along the India-Bangladesh border and security forces posted at the airport to step up vigil.

The northeastern state is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides.

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