"Tripura Journalist People Are Not Below Standards"

Jayanta Debnath

June 7, 2021, 11:39:15   

I have been a journalist in Tripura for the last 30 years. 1990 to 2021. When I started my journalism career with the Tripura's largest circulated daily news paper Dainik Sambad, there was only terrorist activity in most parts of the state. kidnapping,  ambush in the pasanger vehicales, security forces  convoy of militant  all around,  almost every day somewhere in the state. From that place Tripura has come to its present place with great difficulty. Although there have been general crime is increasing, it is safe to say that there have been almost no terrorist activities. And as a full-time journalist,  I have been to various places to cover the terrorist activities in the state.  I have had the opportunity to know and see many incidents up close. Later I wrote a book called 'Santrash Klanta Tripura' about the terrorist activities in Tripura. 

Along with the country's other security forces, the Tripura police and the state's TSR have worked hard to curb terrorist activities in the state. As a result, the Tripura Police has been given the 'Colors' honor of the President of the country. Very few police forces in the country have received this honor so far. And in receiving this honor from the Tripura Police, the common people of Tripura have also helped the police and the TSR forces in various ways to curb terrorist activities. Local newspapers and journalists also had no fewer roles in this. If there was an incident anywhere, the journalists would not go to the spot just to cover the news. Many rural reporters and journalists helped the police and the TSR with a lot of information about hostile movements. The role of Tripura journalists in curbing terrorist activities has been praised by many at home and abroad. GK Pillai, the then Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, visited Tripura and praised the journalists more than once. He later wrote a book after retiring as Union Home Secretary. In the book, he praised the state police and TSR as well as journalists for tackling the terrorist situation in Tripura. Returning to Kerala at the end of his career, the then CRCF's IG  GC Podi Para wrote an article on Tripura's terrorist activities in multiple reports on and praised the Tripura media.

Similarly, the then DGP, VL Vora praised the media of Tripura in his multiple publications. In Tripura, the media always remembers DGPs like BJK Thampi, to VL Vora, GM Srivastava, KTD Singh, Selim Ali, Pranoy Sahay.

In the midst of intense terrorist activity, they have maintained good relations with the general public and journalists and newspapers. Although there was often criticized constructively, but they never threatened to take a look at the journalists. Tripura has managed the police in a strict and orderly manner.

 Terrorist activities are no longer the case in this state. But the general law and order situation is getting worse. There has been a storm of criticism over the past few months over the work of the Tripura police. People from all walks of life including the rulers and the opposition have raised the question today, what is happening in the state? Journalists, MPs, MLAs, ministers and opposition leaders are being attacked in front of Police. Even BJP state president Dr Manik Saha was attacked at a function in Khumlung.

Police could not provide security. So without concluding the party meeting, Dr Manik Saha and MP Rebati Tripura had to return at the request of the police. A few days ago, in Jampuizala, Minister NC Debbarma was turned away saying that the police could not provide security. The minister returned from Jampuizala without an administrative meeting. And on his return, he told in a press conference in the capital that there is no such thing as law and order in the state. 

Similarly, Manik Sarkar, the Leader of the Opposition, went to Shantirbazar a few days ago and some miscreants attacked him and former Minister Badal Chowdhury.

Earlier, MP Rebati Tripura, former MP Jiten Chowdhury, Pabitra Kar, Banulal Saha, Sudhan Das, PCC president Pijush Biswas along with several BJP IPFT, CPM leaders, MLAs, MPs was attcked in the presence of police more than once.

Before the just-concluded ADC vote inside the Mohanpur subdivision magistrate's office, Tipra Matha chief Maharaja Pradyot Bikram Kishore Debbarma was attacked. Subdivisional magistrate Jayanta Dey locked him inside his office and protected him. The miscreants outside continued to shoot. There were lots of cops. Police have not arrested anyone from the spot. Maharaja Pradyot raised the question through Facebook Live from the spot - is there anything to say about law and order in the state? 

Not only have that, in the same way, 28 journalists been attacked in many parts of the state since September 11. The Tripura media fraternity has repeatedly appealed to the Tripura police chief to ensure that the attacks on journalists do not happen. After meeting with DGP, the senior journalists and editors requested that immediate action be taken against the accused in a proper investigation. While journalists have been vocal about this demand for the past few months, a journalist named Debajyoti Guhray in Kamalpur was recently attacked infront of  police and TSR forces. His camera was snatched. But the police did not arrest the accused miscreants in this journey either. Many times various journalist bodies drew the attention of the DGP, including by the Assembly of Journalists, the largest organization of journalists. Condemnation was published in several newspapers and electronic media. The DGP then held a review meeting on June 3. He also spoke to the district SPs about the extent of the investigation into the incidents organized on the media in Tripura. Following the meeting held via video conference, a press release from the police headquarters was sent to the media for publicity at the direction of the DGP. Most newspapers take that press release seriously. In that press release, the DGP himself admitted that there had been 24 attacks on journalists in Tripura in the last 17 months. Of these, 17 incidents have been charged. This press release of the DGP proves that the safety of journalists in the state has reached a point today. Because, in the past, there have never been so many attacks on journalists in such a short period of time in the state.

Naturally, the officials of Tripura's newspapers and journalists' organizations are concerned about the ongoing attacks. And again and again the journalists want the intervention of the DGP, the Chief Secretary and even the Chief Minister and the Governor. But in the last 17 months, 24 journalists have been attacked in the state, as the DGP proudly said in an official press release that chargesheets have been filed in 17 cases. And he tried to say that so many incidents did not happen in his time. Only seven incidents occurred during his time last one year. This shows how serious the DGP is about the attack on journalists. But even after that, the DGP's press release was published in various media.

Information from the DGP's press release was published on too. Police confessed there have been 24 attacks on Media Personal in the state in the last 17 months in Tripura - with this heading, the news published based on the information given in the press release sent by the DGP is taken into consideration by the DGP. This reporter sent a link to the news on WhatsApp. DGP VS Yadav may not like the word 'Thanks for Accepting the Realities'. So in response, the DGP wrote this reporter,

"What realty? We did not accept anything. When did we deny that no case has happened with journalists? You charge sheeted the cases? You people are below standards. I feel so bad for people of Tripura that they have to bear with such kind of journalism as is done by you people. Was AOJ not aware of incidents with media persons? Why did you all come to meet DIG in PHQ? Does it mean that AOJ came without being aware of cases of journalists just for publicity stunt?" 

This reporter then respectfully sent the WhatsApp message to the DGP saying that

"Such remarks from a DGP about journalists in a state are unwelcome. We have seen many DGPs. No DGP has said such a thing before. We still think Tripura Police is a proud police force of the country. This dilapidated state of Tripura police is only due to the last weakness of the top management. In front of the police, ministers, MLAs, MPs, journalists, opposition leaders and even the BJP's state president are being attacked. Very sad" ... ... From the above mentioned comment of DGP, it is understood why the criminals are not being arrested if the media representatives of Tripura are attacked.


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