MANGALDAI: The helpless rickshaw-puller Mukul Hazarika of a Mangaldai village who had gone missing in 2017 and was later traced to a Bangladeshi jail in 2019, has finally set foot on his motherland.
A joint team of Bangladesh Police and BGB (Border Guards Bangladesh) officially handed over Hazarika to Assam Police SI (Sub Inspector) Dantejit Deuri of Mangaldai Police Station at 10.30 am on Monday. The development took place during a ceremonial-flag meeting along the Indo-Bangladesh border at Belonia in South Tripura, in the presence of Mukul's father — Phuleswar Hazarika, Inspector Sumer Dam of 200 Battalion of BSF at South Tripura BOP (Border Out Post), Sub Divisional Police Officer of Belonia Soumya Deb Barma and the OC (Officer in Charge) of Belonia Police Station Inspector Siti Kanta Barman.
During the meeting, Subedar Mohammed Sayedu Jaman of BGB at Feni and Officer in Charge of Feni Police Station Sub Inspector Mohammed Imam Hossain led the Bangladesh government's team.
Sources informed that Mukul Hazarika along with his father — Phuleswar Hazarika — and SI Dantejit Deuri will fly back to Assam on Tuesday evening after completion of medical examination.
Mention may be made here that The Sentinel in its newspaper editions on May 9, 2019 and also on July 22, 2021 reported the heart-touching story on the plight of this rural youth languishing in jail at Feni (Bangladesh) even after the expiry of his jail term three years back. In fact, Mukul's landing in Bangladesh Jail was yet to be ascertained.
On July 20, Superintendent of Police, Darrang, Er Sushanta Biswa Sarma had written a letter to the Deputy Inspector General of Police-cum Secretary (Home) Diganta Bora and Inspector General of Police (SB) Hiren Chandra Nath on the repatriation of Mukul Hazarika. Accordingly Home Secretary Bora very promptly took up the matter with the competent authority.
Further, at the request of journalist Bhargab Kumar Das of The Sentinel, senior journalist of Bangladesh — Abu Ali also communicated with the Bangladesh government and the jail authority concerned in Bangladesh. In the evening of July 23, Ali informed Das over phone that the Bangladesh government and the judicial Court have approved the release of Mukul Hazarika.
The whereabouts of this missing youth had come to light following an official letter issued by the Deputy High Commissioner of India at Dhaka.
Deputy High commissioner Biswadip Dey (vide letter number DAC/CONS/411/03/2019 dated May 5, 2019) had informed the Principal Secretary of Home & Political department (with copies of the letter to the Chief Secretary of Assam and Deputy Commissioner of Darrang that a person identified as Mukul Hazarika — son of Phuleswar Hazarika of village Hodapara under Mangaldai Police Station in Darrang district was lodged in Feni Jail in Bangladesh even after the completion of his jail term.
Significantly, it was mentioned in the letter that due to no response from the state Government of Assam regarding his nationality verification, he has been languishing in Feni jail. However, the letter did not mention the nature of offence of Mukul Hazarika or the period of conviction.
It may be noted here that on receipt of the confirmation of repatriation of Mukul Hazarika by BGB on September 13, the Darrang SP made arrangements to depute SI Dantejit Deuri and Mukul's father Phuleswar Hazarika to Tripura by flight.