37 years in Bangladesh jail: Tripura man’s wait for freedom far from over

Agartala: For the last 37 years, Shahjahan Bilash has been anxiously waiting for the day his confinement will be over. A resident of Tripura’s Durgapur village, Bilash landed at a Bangladesh jail due to a chain of events that did not allow him to plead innocence.

His family has appealed to Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha to kindly consider his case and take up the matter with the Ministry of External Affairs.

Speaking on the issue, the victim’s wife said, “My husband went to Bangladesh to visit his maternal uncle located in the Comilla district of Bangladesh. A few nights after he went there, a group of dacoits robbed a house in the same village.

When the matter was reported to the police, locals indicated his name as one of the suspects, as the robberies occurred shortly after he arrived at the village. One of the key members of the gang had framed him in the case which resulted in his rigorous imprisonment.”

His family also alleged that as he was found out to be an Indian national, the Bangladesh police had framed him in numerous other cases. Sources said he had entered Bangladesh without a passport, which made matters worse in the neighboring country.

Two years back, a fresh case was registered against him after banned Yaba tablets were found in his possession inside the jail. Her family members, however, rejected the allegations and said that he had faced severe atrocities at the hands of the Bangladesh police force in the jail.

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“We don’t know why my father was so brutally tortured even after he was innocent. Now, the jail term awarded by the Court is also over but still, he was not being released. All the documents have been submitted before the authorities of Bangladesh and India, which proves that he is an Indian citizen and hails from this part of Sonamura. But, the Bangladesh police had withheld his release orders for unknown reasons”, his son Litan Miah has said he hasn’t seen his father all these years of growing up.

Around 13 days after Bilash’s arrest in Bangladesh, Litan was born in his house in Durgapur.

Local sources said that the family had concealed some facts regarding his arrest. However, the family had appealed to the Chief Minister and the Bangladesh Assistant High Commissioner based out of Tripura to release him as soon as possible.   

Also Read | Tripura: ‘Border touts’ turning into a national security threat, say officials

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