The High Court of Tripura has granted bail to Tripura State Rifles’ former commandant Tapan Debbarma, the prime accused in the murder of journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik in 2017.
Debbarma’s former personal security guard Nanda Kumar Reang also got bail.
The court granted bail to both on the ground of “delay in disposing of the case”.
The journalist was shot dead at the headquarters of Tripura State Rifles second battalion in RK Nagar in West Tripura district on November 21, 2017.
Initially, the police constituted a special investigation team to probe into the murder of the journalist but later the case was handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation.
Earlier, three more accused – Swrupananda Biswas, Dharmendra Singh and Amit Debbarma – got bail. They were TSR personnel.
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The CBI submitted a chargesheet in the case before the Additional District & Sessions Court last year.
Notably, Debbarma along with other accused persons had earlier been granted bail by the district court, but it was challenged by the CBI in the high court.
The high court had, in September 2022, rejected Debbarma’s bail granted by the district court.
The former TSR commandant had then moved the Supreme Court, challenging the High Court’s order and sought bail since he has already spent five years in custody, Debbarma’s counsel Pujan Biswas said on Thursday.
“The apex court had requested the high court to consider the pros and cons of the accused’s previous records. Accordingly, Justice T Amarnath Goud took up the case for hearing on Wednesday and heard the counsels of both sides. He granted bail to Debbarma and another one (Nanda Kumar Reang),” he said.