The case was pending for judgment with the Agartala bench of the Guwahati high court ever since Sanjit Reang filed his writ petition in 1998, alleging that the then deputy superintendent of police, Arindam Nath, who is at present the SP (traffic), and the officer in charge of West Agartala police station, Rupak Chakraborty, who has retired now, beat him up in police custody without any valid reason.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Deepak Gupta and justice Subhashis Talapatra observed that the incident was a gross violation of human rights because Reang was arrested and tortured in police custody without proper evidence.
Reang, who was posted in a remote location at that time, had come to his home in the Bijoy Kumar Chowmuhani area the city when one night a police team led by Nath and Chakraborty stormed the house and picked him up.
"Branding me as a collaborator of a banned militant outfit, they took me into custody and beat me up severely, which resulted in irreparable damage to my body. However, ultimately, they could not prove any of the allegations levelled against me," Reang said.
Reang's counsel, Chandrasekha Sinha said, "This was a clear case of violation of human rights by the policemen. The verdict has established the high-handedness of police in the name of raids and anti-insurgency operations in Tripura."
Government advocate Abhijit Ghosh said, "The incident occurred during such a period when militancy was at its peak and there was panic and tension among the civilians. We argued that it was difficult for police to immediately establish Reang's association with the militants." He added that the state government will take the decision as per the high court's direction and if the accused officers so desire, they may move the Supreme Court.
Police said the raid had been conducted on specific information of militant movement in the house. Later, it turned out that before the policemen could reach, the militants had fled.