Custodial death: Kokrajhar court issues arrest warrant against IGP Anurag Tankha

Custodial death: Kokrajhar court issues arrest warrant against IGP Anurag Tankha

Anurag Tankha Anurag Tankha

Guwahati, October 3, 2018:

The Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Kokrajhar, Assam, has issued a warrant of arrest against Inspector General of Police (IGP), Anurag Tankha, for the custodial death of an alleged rebel of United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), Ananta Roy alias Dwijen Roy alias Hiranya Deka alias Lambhu.

Roy had died in the custody of Kokrajhar police in 1999 after being allegedly brutally beaten up by Tankha and his two PSOs. Tankha was then serving as the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) in Kokrajhar.

In his order, the CJM said: “I find this case to be a very serious case of inhuman custodial torture and custodial death of an alleged ULFA man namely Ananta Rai @ Dwijen Roy @ Hiranya Deka @ Lambu on 25.10.99 at the police lockup of Kokrajhar PS during his police custody. All the three accused namely the then Addl. SP, Kokrajhar Sri Anurag Tankha, IPS, presently serving as IGP (V&AC), Assam (as reported by PSI, Kokrajhar). ii) AB/LNK 598 Prabin Borah. iii) UBC/46/Ram Nagina Raut are all police officials/police persons…

“Considering the seriousness of the offence and might be to have a fair investigation, the investigation into the case was handed over to CID, Assam. CID conducted the investigation into the case and ultimately filed Final Report in this case by finding the case to be true but failed to obtain prosecution sanction against the above named three accused…

“In order to take a decision of either accepting the Final Report or rejecting the Final report of the case, I have thoroughly examined the whole case diary and the case record of the case along with all the connected documents of the case and from the materials on record, one can easily understand the inhuman circumstances under which the alleged ULFA man Lt. Ananta Rai died due to the inhuman torture and inhuman treatment by policeman during the police custody”.

One of the witnesses, who was allegedly present along with the deceased victim at the place of occurrence stated in his statement Under Section 164 CrPC that before the death of the deceased victim, he was beaten up in the police lockup/police control room and prior to his death, the deceased victim asked for water and complained of illness, but there was no one to give him water and then he became unconscious and ultimately he died. Thus one can understand the circumstances under which the deceased victim had to die under police custody without his fundamental right to life guaranteed in the Constitution of India under Article 21 and his legal right of not being tortured under police custody even declared by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in various judgments being protected by the persons who had the duty to protect the same, the court said.

“From the materials in the case record and case diary, I find enough materials against all the three accused of the offences Under Section 448/304/34 IPC to proceed in this case. From the FIR of the case lodged by a police officer himself and the post mortem report of the deceased victim, the custodial torture and custodial death of the victim is established. Again from the statements of the witnesses Prabin Nath, Ramani Rai, Dhabra Rai, the custodial torture against the deceased victim can be concluded. Ramani Rai (who was present in the police lockup along with the deceased victim at the night of the incident) stated in his earlier statement that he was also tortured and assaulted by the bodyguards of the then Addl. SP when the Addl. SP was interrogating him. Pradip Nath (who was present in the police lockup along with the deceased victim at the night of the incident) also admitted that he was also assaulted by police in the lockup on the night of the incident,” the court said in the order.

It said the main accused, Tankha, admitted in his statement before the investigating officer that he had entered the police control room on that night to interrogate the deceased. In other words, the court said, Tankha admitted his entry into the place of occurrence where the victim was allegedly tortured and assaulted although the accused categorically denied any kind of torture or assault upon the deceased victim.