Editors Guild of India today expressed shock and deep anguish over the killing of three employees of the newspaper 'Dainik Ganadoot' in Agartala and demanded a thorough probe into the incident.
"That manager of the newspaper Ranjit Chowdhury, proof reader Sunil Bhattarcharjee and driver Balaram Ghosh died at the hands of suspected contract killers in broad daylight on Sunday, shows that the law and order in the state of Tripura has all but collapsed," the Guild said in a statement here.
Issued by Vijay Naik, the General Secretary of the guild, the statement said that "this is not only an attack on the freedom of the press, but the inability of the police to show any progress in the investigation shows inefficiency of the police administration."
The Guild called upon Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar to order a thorough probe into the incident and provide adequate protection to the staff of the newspaper.
It also said that the media in north eastern states is coming under increasing threats from insurgents and contract killers and as such, reporting from conflict zones is becoming difficult as reporters have to put their lives at risk.
The Guild called upon the state government to find the culprits and bring them to book.
The South Asia Media Commission also expressed shock over the killings and slammed the Tripura government for its "insensitive attitude" towards the incident.
"The murder of three staffers of the Agartala-based newspaper, Ganadoot Patrika, in their office in broad daylight is shocking beyond words," K K Katyal, South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) President, said in a statement.
Asking the government to "wake up" to its "primary responsibility" of maintaining the law and order, the SAMC demanded a thorough inquiry into the incident besides compensation to the families of the victims.
According to police, motorcycle-borne assailants barged into the office of 'Dainik Ganadoot' at the Palace Compound in Agartala at about 3 PM and stabbed a proof reader and a driver on the ground floor before proceeding to the first floor where they stabbed the office manager.