Union Minister of External Affairs headed by Sushma Swaraj has decided to finally repatriate the Bangladeshi national Badol Farazi after the latter spent ten years in Tihar Jail as a murder convict.
Writing to Delhi-based social worker Rahul Kapoor, the MEA said, “Given the age and profile of the convict, we’ve agreed to consider his repatriation to Bangladesh under the provisions of our bilateral Agreement on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners with Bangladesh.”
The letter further added that Farazi will soon be repatriated after a gap of 10 years.
Farazi’s case was first brought to light by an Indian Express report in 2012. Farazi had claimed that he was arrested for crime that essentially took place in Indian while he was in Bangladesh.
However, the story published in the Indian Express then could not impact the case favourably for Farazi. Six years later, Kapoor launched a movement to secure the justice for the innocent Bangladeshi man. He organised several street protests and met Farazi in Tihar Jail, where he had gone to counsel prisoners and work on reformation and rehabilitation programs for inmates as a part of his field work.
Kapoor told Janta Ka Reporter, “When Farazi came to the Jail, he did not know English and even Hindi and this is one of the major reasons that when he was arrested from the Benapole Immigration check-post in 2008 on charges of a murder, he could not tell the relevant authorities that he was not the person they were looking for and someone else who was not at all connected to the case.”
Kapoor added, “Since Farazi could not communicate his innocence to the authorities, the flaws in our criminal justice system destroyed the most crucial years of his life and he was falsely implicated for the murder of an elderly woman in Delhi by her domestic, identified as Badal Singh. Instead, cops arrested Badol farazi. Farazi was later convicted by the session court, Saket, under section 302 on charges of murder on 7 August, 2015.”
The lower court’s judgment was later validated by the High Court, which too upheld the life sentence. Farazi filed an appeal petition in the Supreme Court, where it was dismissed and his sentence was upheld.
Farazi has come a long way since 2008 and has successfully completed his class 8th, 10th, 12th and graduation studies, all from the Jail premises through National Institute of Open Schooling and IGNOU programme facilities available in Tihar. Today, he speaks fluent English and even has a certificate of doing exceptionally well in an English speaking Course from the Teach India, Times of India Campaign. He worked tirelessly inside the Tihar Jail and managed the IGNOU centre until recently when he was shifted to the newly opened Mandoli Jail in Delhi where he still works as a Jail Seva Daar.
In 2012, the High Commission of Bangladesh wrote several letters to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs requesting the release of Farazi, claiming his innocence with strong evidences attached in his favour. But the efforts to secure the release of Farazi by the Bangladeshi authorities turned futile. Farazi always cursed his decision to visit India to see Taj Mahal and Ajmer Sharif dargah on valid travel documents.
Kapoor told Janta Ka Reporter that the credit ought to be given to Sushma Swaraj for finally agreeing our pleas on compassionate grounds. Farazi’s father died as he languished in Tihar Jail. His mother is reported to be ill and is desperately awaiting her son’s return.
An elated Kapoor said that his years of campaign has finally paid off adding that he had even launched an online petition demanding Farazi’s repatriation to Bangladesh. “The petition was signed by more than 2,000 people. I even met several MPs, besides tweeting to Sushma Swaraj ji. I also wrote to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.”