18th April, 2012
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg
It is unfortunate that number of Indian nationals have been perishing in jails in Bangladesh for long as JAANKHALASH, as like Bangladeshi people in Indian jails. They have already completed their term of sentence but they were not repatriated to their native country till date.
In this regard we bring to the Commission's attention that the victims namely (1) Mr. Hachimuddin Sheikh(aged about-48 years), son of Late Niyamat Sheikh; (2) Ms. Mafroza Khatun (aged about-40 years), wife of Hachimuddin Sheikh are Indian nationals and their place of residence is located in village and Post Office-Gajdharpara, Police Station-Berhampore, District- Murshidabad, West Bengal. The voter identity card number of Mr. Hachimuddin Sheikh is JRG2634863 and the voter identity card number of Ms. Mafroza Khatun is JRG2632743.
In the month of April, 2011 the victims were apprehended in the territory of Bangladesh with their grandson namely Master Ariful Sk. who is just aged about 5 years (Date of birth-28.12.2006 according to the birth certificate issued by Berhampore Municipality). According to statement dated 18th April 2011 given by the Chairman of No. 8 Piyarpur Union Parishad of Daulatpur, Kusthia, Mr. Mohammad Jaharul Karim Biswas, Mr. Hachimuddin Sheikh went to Bangladesh to see his ailing mother. The victims were implicated in a criminal case vide Doulatpur Police Station Case No. 16/11 dated 15.04.2011 (G.R. No. 156 / 2011) under section 4 of The Control of Entry Act,1952 of Bangladesh. Subsequently the victims admitted their guilt before the trial magistrate and they were fined of Rs.500/- each in Bangladesh currency and in default to pay the fine they were to suffer simple imprisonment of two months as per judgment of the trial magistrate. The judgment was passed on 12.5.2011 in G.R. No. 156 / 2011. The trial court (Senior Judicial Magistrate of Kusthia) in its judgment already ordered for repatriation of the victim to India upon fulfillment of the sentence. We have received information that the said amount of fine was also paid on behalf of the victims. But till date the victims are languishing in Kusthia Jail in Bangladesh with their minor grandson.
The daughter of the victims namely Ms. Kajalrekha Bibi who is also the mother of aforesaid Master Ariful Sk. has already started a fight against all hostility for immediate repatriation of her minor son and parents to India. She already lodged complaints/appeals before the Hon'ble Governor; West Bengal on 27.10.2011, the Hon'ble Chief Minister, West Bengal, the High Commissioner of Bangladesh at India on 09.07.2011, the District Magistrate of Murshidabad on 25.10.2011, Additional Superintendent of Police (DIB) of Murshidabad on 30.05.2011 and Officer in Charge (Judicial Munsikhana) under District Magistrate of Murshidabad on 25.10.2011 with all supportive documents and she appealed for immediate repatriation of the victims and her minor son to India. But till date she is yet to see her parents and her minor son. It is apparent that the unfortunate victims are facing an indefinite stay in jail since their matter of repatriation is not taken up either by the Government of India till date.
In India, Commonweath Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) and in Bangladesh, Bangladesh Legal Aid & Services Trust (BLAST) were following this case for long with Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, High Commission offices of both the countries and also with the prison department of Bangladesh. We have been informed that all the officials agreed to repatriate the victim family without any further delay. But due to non co-operation of the Border Security Force to receive them from the authorities of Bangladesh, they are still illegally detained in Bangladesh.
It is natural that some time would be needed to complete formalities of their release but it would have been proper for the jail authority and also the respective government departments to take appropriate steps for the release of the prisoners in question at the earliest possible time but here the case of the victims indicate that the bureaucratic indifference and apathy continue unabated and reached gargantuan proportion.
For your perusal, we are attaching all the relevant documents including the order passed by the Ministry of Home Affairs of Bangladesh for immediate release of aforesaid people.
We strongly condemn such illegal detention of the victims especially when a minor child who is totally innocent and deprived of association of his parents and proper upbringing is also languishing in jail with them.
Hence we demand your urgent intervention in this matter in the following manner:-
· A report must immediately be called for from the authorities concerned regarding the action taken by the authorities till date in the matter of the repatriation of the victims along with their minor grandson to India.
· The authorities concerned must be directed to take immediate steps and complete all formalities with an urgent basis so that the victims along with their minor grandson can come back to India as soon as possible.
· The authorities concerned must be also directed to render all necessary assistance to the authorities concerned in Bangladesh for immediate release of the victims along with their minor grandson and their safe return to India.
· The complaint/appeal already lodged by Ms. Kajalrekha Bibi must also be properly acknowledged and a report also be called for from the authorities regarding the action taken on the complaint/appeal.
· Book the officials of India who are responsible for indifferent attitude to bring back the victim family
· Compensation to the victim for indifference and apathy of Indian bureaucrats and BSF officials
· Any other appropriate action as the Commission may deem fit and proper.
National Convener, PACTI
Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha
National Convenor (PACTI)
Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity
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