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Sumita Saha | HENB | Kolkata | Oct 9, 2022:: A Bengali couple is spending days in jail after going Karnataka for work. Their one-and-a-half-year-old baby son is also in custody. Allegedly, the Bengali-speaking couple was arrested by the Bengaluru police on suspicion of being Bangladeshi infiltrators. Palash Adhikari and Shukla Adhikari have been spending their days in a jail in Bengaluru with their only child Adi for almost three months.
Palash’s father Pankaj Adhikari and mother Savita Adhikari showed their Indian citizenship proofs of their Son and daughter-in-law. But that did not help anyway. In this situation, the elderly have requested the intervention of West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to release the son, his wife and their son from the prison of a far state. The family of Adhikaris is a permanent resident of Tele village in Jougram panchayat area of Jamalpur police station in East Burdwan. Their broken house with two huts shows that poverty is a constant companion of that family. In fact, most of the people in that area earn their livelihood by working as labourers. Some make quits, bed cushion and pillows. Someone earns by making bidis (indigenous smoking).
Palash, a resident of such an area, went to Bangalore with his wife and son in the hope of extra income. Palash and his wife went to Bengaluru with their infant son in June this year to work as a labourer. Palash’s father Pankaj Adhikari and mother Savita devi and neighbor Sunil Adhikari also went to Bengaluru for the same purpose. They went to Sulibela village of Varthur police station of Marathahalli subdivision there. They were arranged to stay at the house of a local Kayen Khan. There, they started working under Kayen on daily wages of Rs. 300-400. Their job was to sort waste, bottles and plastic equipment for ‘recycling’ business mainly collected from various places including hotels, restaurants, cinema halls.
On July 27 last, Varthur police station raided Kain Khan’s settlement. All those who were Bengali speaking there were suspected as Bangladeshi infiltrators. On such suspicion, the police of Varthur police station arrested them and five other Muslims and took them to the police station. Palash, his wife and parents and neighborSunil Adhikari all told the Varthur police that none of them were Bangladeshis. They claim to be Indian and show their own Aadhaar card, PAN card, voter card etc.
But, seeing everything, the police released Palash’s elderly father, mother and neighbour, but detained seven people, including Palash and his wife and infant son. Since then, Palash and his wife have been spending their days in Bengaluru jail with their infant son for almost three months.
As the local Muhammad Kayen Khan who sheltered the family of Palash also kept many illegal Bangladeshi Muslims under him as daily labour for his ‘recycling’ business created confusion that the family of Palash was also from Bangladesh. This risk remains to shelter any Bangladeshi Muslim or to take shelter under any Bangladeshi Muslim as well.
There is a misconception that all Bengali speaking people are Muslim Bangladeshi infiltrators. There are Bengali speaking Hindus and Muslims from West Bengal and many Hindu Bangladeshis who can’t be termed as illegal infiltrator instead of being refugee here under CAA.
Palash’s elderly parents claim that the police may have detained the son and grandmother because of the language problem. In the words of Palash’s father, “We were having linguistic problems in talking to the police there. Just as they could not understand us, we could not understand anything about them. Yet again and again we say that we are Indians. Originally a resident of Burdwan, West Bengal.
Sujan Halder, a resident of Bainchi village in Hooghly, is a relative of Palash. He said, ‘I went to Bengaluru after knowing about the tragic condition of Palash, his wife and child. But I can’t solve anything. The lawyer they have appointed is not favouring in that kind of cooperation from him either.
In this regard BDO Jamalpur Subhankar Majumjudar said, ‘I have heard about such an incident. The matter has been informed to the district administration. The SDO (Burdwan South) is looking into the matter.” Jamalpur Assembly MLA Alok Maji said, “Palash and his family are permanent residents and voters of Tele village in my assembly constituency. They also have all the proofs of Indian citizenship. Despite this, it is surprising that the Bengaluru police detained them under any reason. After Kali Puja, Maji will draw the attention of the state home department through the district magistrate, as reports came in.
__Inputs from Agencies.