The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will probe the murders of journalists Santanu Bhowmik and Sudip Datta Bhowmik, who were killed last year in west Tripura, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb announced at a press briefing late on Friday night. Santanu was hacked to death on September 20 while covering a tribal agitation at Mandwai, 25 km east of Agartala, while Sudip was shot dead at the office of the Commandant (CO) of the 2nd battalion of Tripura State Rifles (TSR) at R.K. Nagar, close to Mandwai, on November 21. The erstwhile CPI(M)-led Left front government had constituted separate Special Investigation Teams (SIT) in both incidents, which led to the arrest of several suspects.However, the Forum for Protection of Journalists, Tripura — a joint platform of nine media organisations — had long been demanding a CBI probe, claiming that the SIT had not booked the real perpetrators. The trial in the Sudip Dutta Bhowmik case in the additional district and sessions judge court was stopped following orders from the Tripura High Court. The Special Investigation Team had probed the killing and filed a chargesheet. It also investigated the Santanu Bhowmik case, but hasn’t filed a chargesheet yet. According to a notification by the Ministry of Personnel, the CBI will probe all aspects including ‘attempts, abetment and conspiracy’.The BJP, during its campaign for the Assembly election, had assured a CBI probe into the murders within the shortest time if voted to power. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of State for the Ministry of Personnel Jitendra Singh made similar assurances when a delegation of journalists met them in New Delhi in December.The Chief Minister said, “Today, we feel relieved as the CBI is going to investigate both the cases. With this, the BJP-IPFT government has fulfilled yet another promise made in the party’s vision document.” The Agartala Press Club and other journalists’ bodies, which staged protests demanding a CBI probe, have welcomed the move.