With two days to go for counting of votes, nine personnel of the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), including a commandant, have been suspended and one detained within a span of four days in three separate incidents. The Tripura State Rifles (TSR) is the state’s counter-insurgency force and have been deployed on poll duty.
Last week, the Tripura government suspended six officials of the 12th battalion of Tripura State Rifles, including a Commandant, for their involvement in purportedly assaulting a jawan over a duty-related dispute. Another jawan who witnessed the assault was also beaten up by them.
A statement by Tripura State Rifles’ 12th Battalion Commandant Ratiranjan Debnath said five TSR jawans — Naib Subedar Bipul Ranjan De, Havildar Kamal Paul, Havildar Raju Dhar, Naik Maheswar Das and Naik Satyabrata Sinha — were accused of “conjoint assault and strikes” on Rifleman (general duty) Bhojveer Singh Chauhan on May 12.
However, a notice issued by the deputy secretary of the Department of General Administration (Personnel and Training), Animesh Das, on Monday stated that Commandant Debnath was suspended as well for negligence of duty.
“…a disciplinary proceeding against Rati Ranjan Debnath, IPS, Commandant, TSR 12th Battalion, Tripura is contemplated/pending. The competent authority, in exercise of powers conferred by Clause (a) of Sub-rule (1) of Rule-3 of the All India Service (Discipline and Appeal) Rules, 1969 hereby places Rati Ranjan Debnath, IPS, under suspension with immediate effect,” the order read.
When asked about the suspension of the Commandant, Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb’s media adviser Sanjay Mishra said, “Some SOs and NCOs of TSR’s 12th Battalion wrongfully assaulted one rifleman on May 11 and again on May 12 another one was assaulted by those persons. The Commandant didn’t take any action on this incident. Later on May 19, those five accused persons were suspended. Commandant has also been suspended because of his negligence.”
He also said that legal action would be taken against the accused as per law. “The government is taking care of all such derelictions for review and thorough review would also be taken soon,” Mishra said.
In another incident, three other personnel of TSR’s 11th Battalion were suspended for “security lapse” in front of a street in Agartala that houses many residences of ministers.
An order issued by TSR 11th Battalion Commandant Amarjit Debbarma said disciplinary proceedings were being taken against Havildar Mahananda Debbarma, Naik Parimal Sarkar and Rifleman Subrata Das. Mishra said apart from these three jawans, three more security personnel would be suspended for negligence of duty.
Meanwhile, a TSR jawan Babul Shil was detained at Maharaja Bir Bikram Airport while he was en route to Manipur in an IndiGo flight on Monday. Fifteen live rounds of ammunition were recovered from his possession, including one round of Insas rifle, 3 rounds of .9 mm firearm and eleven SLR rounds.