A couple from West Bengal along with their one-and-a-half-year-old child have been lodged in a Bengaluru jail for more than three months now on the suspicion of being Bangladeshi infiltrators. The couple, Palash Adhikari and Shukla Adhikari, are said to be residents of Tele village under Jaugram panchayat in Purba Bardhaman district. The area falls under the jurisdiction of Jamalpur police station.
Meanwhile, a Bengaluru police team recently visited the Purba Bardhaman village to verify the citizenship documents of the couple.
As per relatives of the Adhikari couple, Palash used to reside in a tin shed dilapidated house in Tele village. In the hope of earning a little more, Palash went to Bengaluru with his family in June. The couple got employment at a waste segregation unit in Karnataka’s Sulibele village. But they were arrested within a month.
Palash’s sister Shampa Halder said, “They were staying in the house of a person named Kayen Khan in Sulibele village under Bharpur police station in Marathahalli subdivision of Bengaluru. Our father (Pankaj Adhikari) and mother (Sabita Adhikari) had also gone with them.”
According to one of the relatives of the couple, Palash and Shukla were arrested on July 27. Palash’s parents – Pankaj and Sabita – were also initially detained, but they were later allowed to return to their village in Purba Bardhaman.
“They used to collect waste materials from hotels and restaurants. On July 27, the police raided Kayen’s house and arrested them. Palash is still in jail, along with his wife and their son,” said Pintu Haldar, a relative.
Jamalpur BDO Shubhankar Majumder said three police officers from Bengaluru came to the state three to four days ago.
“The couple is in jail. The Bengaluru police collected several documents related to the couple. They wanted to procure residential proof, information regarding their marital status, etc. Apparently, they have been arrested under the Foreigners Act. The police have been provided with voter id cards, ration cards, and pan cards. These documents should be enough to prove their citizenship. The Bengaluru police claimed that at the time of their arrest, the couple had failed to provide the documents,” Majumder said.
“We managed to speak to Palash three to four days ago. Apparently, the Bengaluru police haven’t found any evidence against them. We are hopeful that they will be released soon. For 40-45 years, the family has been staying in Bardhaman. It is shocking that the police have arrested them. We appeal to the Bengal government to look into the matter,” said Palash’s brother-in-law Sujan Haldar.
Local TMC leader defended the couple saying, “It is unfortunate as both Palash and Shukla Adhikari are voters of Jamalpur constituency. We are there to support them but it is a judicial matter.”