For 38 years old Kanchan Hazarika, it has been more than five years that she has been living without her husband looking after her in-laws and three sons. Her husband, Mukul Hazarika, 41, is a rickshaw puller, who disappeared on February 12, 2017 and has not yet returned. “He went out saying he shall be back soon meeting his friends at the square. However, he did not return… We searched for him everywhere for three days and then my father-in-law lodged a missing FIR with the Mangaldoi police station,” said Kanchan, who works as a weaver in Suwakuchi, the silk village of Assam. They have three children.
Almost after two years of his missing, Mukul Hazarika came to light following an official letter issued by the Deputy High Commissioner of India at Dhaka in Bangladesh. Deputy High Commissioner Biswadip Dey, in a letter dated May 5, 2019, had informed the Principal Secretary of Home and Political Department with a copy to the Chief Secretary of Assam and Deputy Commissioner of Darrang that one Mukul Hazarika, son of Phuleswar Hazarika of village Hodapara under Mangaldoi Police Station in Darrang district, was lodged in Feni Jail in Bangladesh even after completing his jail term. Significantly, the letter mentioned that due to no response from the Assam government on his nationality, he had been languishing in the Bangladesh jail. However, the letter did not mention the nature of offence committed by Mukul and the period of conviction.
“My father did not understand much of his interaction with the Bangladesh authorities. However, we did provide all the credentials of Mukul Hazarika as asked for to the Magaldoi district authorities. We were told that the proceedings were on but nothing concrete followed. This time we were aware that he was alive and is in Bangaldesh and nothing more. His return was ambiguous and we had no other options but to wait,” says Kanchan.
On September 13, the officials of Bangladesh Border Guards handed over Mukul to Border Security Force at Belonia border of Tripura. After the required official’s proceedings, 41 years old Mukul was handed over to his father Phuleshwar Hazarika who was in Belonia along with Assam Police officials. Mukul is expected to reach Mangaldoi after dusk today.
Smiriti Kanta Burman, Officer in charge, Belonia Police Station, said a letter mentioning about an Indian who hails from Darang district of Assam was received 15 days ago. “We informed in charge of Mangaldoi police station Dantajit Deuri… Bangladesh handed over Mukul Hazarika to us and we handed him over to his father.”
According to the information, Mukul was staying in Bangladesh for several years till he got arrested on suspicion of illegally residing in the country. He was sent to three months of judicial custody as he failed to provide required documents for his stay. He has languishing in Feni jail of Bangladesh as his release and extradition was entangled in legal formalities.
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