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A local television journalist was allegedly abducted by drug smugglers in a vehicle, beaten and then thrown on the road on Sunday night before they fled the spot at Sonamura in Tripura’s Sepahijala district.

Speaking to indianexpress.com, Sepahijala District Superintendent of Police Sudipta Das Monday said that a complaint was registered at Sonamura police station this morning against “unnamed kidnappers” who tried to abduct journalist Sadek Miah while he was tailing a suspected vehicle.

“We have registered a complaint. We are investigating the issue. As per prima facie, we think it might be a case of road rage. However, all angles must be investigated. It will be a fair probe”, the official said. He informed that the journalist alleged in his complaint that those involved in the incident were wearing a uniform resembling paramilitary personnel.

“He (Md. Sadek Miah) has not named anybody in particular. But he said certain people in uniform resembling paramilitary fatigues were involved. We are investigating possibility of involvement of all security agencies”, the SP said.

Md. Sadek Miah, who is currently under treatment at Sonamura Sub-Divisional Hospital, was not available for comments.

Subsequently, the Tripura Working Journalist Association (TWJA) issued a statement saying there are allegations of the involvement of a Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) of Tripura Police, a section of Assam Rifles and Border Security Force (BSF) in the issue.

“Md. Sadek Miah, a journalist serving with local television channel News Vanguard, was informed yesterday by journalist Biplab Chakraborty from Melaghar, an adjoining sub-division, about a vehicle without any registration number plate being suspected to be involved with drugs smuggling. Biplab reportedly attempted to stop the vehicle at Melaghar but had a narrow shave from being run over. He informed Md. Sadek Miah of Sonamura sub-division to take over the issue. The latter spotted the vehicle at Bridge Chowmuhani in Sonamura and tailed it”, the statement reads.

TWJA general secretary Debashish Majumder said that Md. Sadek Miah was stopped by the vehicle after tailing it for some time and certain individuals including those bearing the uniform abducted Miah, then beat him black and blue inside the vehicle only to leave the wounded journalist before fleeing the spot.

The journalists’ body said the attempt to murder Miah was a grave offense and that it suspects role of international drug cartels with the incident.

Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on three sides and shares 856 Km international border with the country. Several patches of the border are still unfenced in Sepahijala and Dhalai districts, which are suspected to be corridors of infiltration and drug smuggling.

[Indian Express]