GUWAHATI: An Assam court has issued a warrant of arrest against Inspector General of Police (IGP), Anurag Tankha, in connection with the custodial death of Ananta Roy (Also known as Dwijen Roy, Hiranya Deka and Lambhu) 19 years ago.
The victim, who was arrested by the police on the suspicion that he was a member of the insurgent group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), died in the custody of Kokrajhar police in 1999 after being allegedly beaten up by Tankha and his two PSOs.
Tankha was then serving as the additional superintendent of police of Kokrajhar.In his order, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) said: "I find this to be a very serious case of inhuman custodial torture and death of an alleged ULFA man at the police lockup of Kokrajhar police station during his police custody. All the three accused namely Tankha, presently serving as IGP (vigilance and anti-corruption cell), Prabin Borah and Ram Nagina Raut are police officials.
Considering the seriousness of the offence, the investigation into the case was handed over to CID (Criminal Investigation Department), Assam. The CID conducted the investigation and ultimately filed final report finding the case to be true but failed to obtain prosecution sanction against the three accused".
The CJM said he had thoroughly examined the whole case diary and the case record of the case along with all connected documents and from the materials on record, "one can easily understand the inhuman circumstances under which the alleged ULFA man died due to the inhuman torture and treatment by a policeman in police custody".
A witness, who was present along with the victim at the place of occurrence, had stated in his statement Under Section 164 CrPC that before the victim died, he (victim) was beaten up in the police lockup. The victim asked for water and complained of illness but there was none to help him. Soon, he became unconscious and died.
"Thus one can understand the circumstances under which the victim had to die in police custody without his fundamental right to life as guaranteed in the Constitution of India under Article 21 and his legal right of not being tortured in police custody." the CJM said. He also said the accused IGP had admitted in his statement before the investigating officer that he had entered the police lockup on that night to interrogate the deceased.