Tamil Nadu

HC pats T.N. police for arresting and airlifting a fugitive criminal from Assam

The Madras High Court on Thursday appreciated Tamil Nadu Police for having arrested a fugitive criminal, wanted in a 24-year-old murder case, from Assam despite several odds and airlifting him to Chennai on Wednesday.

Justice P.N. Prakash commended the four-member police team which flew to Assam to nab the absconding accused, who had jumped bail, for its ‘splendid work’ and ordered that the commendation be entered in their service records.

The judge also suggested that Director General of Police J.K. Tripathy could address the government recommending grant of suitable award to the team members. He said now it was up to the judiciary to make sure that the accused faces trial.

The issue dates back to July 6, 1996, when the then Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) constable Atul Chandra Das was arrested by the Railway Police for shooting his co-passenger Raja, following a wordy duel, in a moving train between Egathur and Kadambathur in Tiruvallur district.

However, the accused obtained bail and absconded leaving the murder case to rot for the last 24 years. The issue came to light recently when Justice Prakash began hearing a petition filed by CRPF seeking return of the guns seized by the police in 1996.

The judge immediately directed the DGP to depute a team to Assam. Acting swiftly, the DGP established contact with his counterpart in Assam and traced the whereabouts of Das who was working as Security Officer in the University of Meghalaya.

Initially a three-member team, comprising Sub Inspector A. Siva, Special Sub Inspector K. Sarathy and Head Constable K. Nagendran were flown to Assam to nab the accused. The CRPF provided accommodation and conveyance facilities.

On coming to know that the Tamil Nadu police was tracking him, Das fled to Dhemaji district in Assam and remained in hiding. However, Cyber Crime cell Head Constable L. Palani traced him down using the mobile phone tower signal and passed on the message to the team in Assam.

Thereafter, Deputy Superintendent of Police S.K. Duraipandian was flown to Assam to coordinate the operation and the team successfully nabbed the accused at his relative's house in Thanganappara village in Dhemaji district, about 600km from Guwahati.

When the villagers gheraoed the Tamil Nadu police team and refused to let it arrest Das, armed policemen from Assam came to their assistance in arresting him and obtaining a transit warrant from a Chief Judicial Magistrate in Dhemaji.

Fearing that the accused may flee if he was brought by train, the police airlifted him with the assistance of Sanjay Sharma, Regional Director, Bureau of Civil Aviation Security in Guwahati. Even at the Dibrugarh airport, the accused created a ruckus and refused to board the flight forcing the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to intervene.

Recording his deep sense of appreciation for all those who had assisted the Tamil Nadu police in nabbing the accused, the judge said the police had played their role well and the CRPF had executed their task with aplomb.

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 7:23:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-pats-tn-police-for-arresting-airlifting-a-fugitive-criminal-from-assam/article33244338.ece

Next Story