True Court CopyTM EnglishUC ACR


Criminal Appeal Nos. 47-48 of 2013

Decided On: 04.03.2014

Appellants: Ashok Debbarma Vs. Respondent: State of Tripura

Hon'ble Judges/Coram:
K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan and Vikramajit Sen


K.S. Panicker Radhakrishnan, J.

1. We are, in this case, concerned with a tragic incident in which a group of Armed Extremists at Jarulbachai village in the night of 11.2.1997, set fire to twenty houses belonging to a group of linguistic minority community of Bengal settlers, in which 15 persons lost their lives, which included women and children and causing extensive damage to their properties.

2. The Takarajala Police Station, West Tripura got information about the incident at about 11.00 p.m. on 11.2.1997 from Jarullabachai DAR Camp stating that extremists had set on fire a number of houses at Jarulbachai village and that the people had been shot dead and injured grievously. Information so received was entered into the General Diary at the Takarajala Police Station in the form of Entry No. 292 dated 11.2.1997. PW18 (Officer-in-Charge) of Takarajala Police Station visited the Jarullabachai DAR Camp, cordoned off the area, and conducted search. Most of the houses of the village were found gutted by fire. On the very night of the occurrence, as many as 13 dead bodies were found lying at various places and three persons were found lying injured. A formal written information, as regards the occurrence, was received by the investigating officer from one Gauranga Biswas (PW2) from the place of occurrence. Based on the written information, which was so received at the place of occurrence, Takarajala Police Station Case No. 12/97 under Sections 148/149/302/326/307/436 Indian Penal Code read with Section 27(3) of the Arms Act, 1959 was registered. Later, more number of dead bodies were found and number of dead persons increased to 15, so also the number of injured persons. Dead bodies as well as injured persons were taken to GB Hospital at about 4.00 p.m. on 12.2.1997. Inquests were held on the dead bodies and post-mortem examinations were also conducted. PW18, the Investigating Officer, seized vide seizure list (Ex.11), two empty cartridges and some ashes from the place of occurrence. Looking at the serious nature of the evidence, investigation was handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and PW20 (a DSP) was entrusted with the investigation.

3. PW20, on completion of the investigation, filed a charge-sheet under Sections 148/149/302/326/307/436 Indian Penal Code read with Section