Handed over by Bangladesh, missing Assam man returns home after over 4 years


Express News Service

GUWAHATI: The distraught family of Phuleswar Hazarika is overjoyed as Bangladesh has handed his missing son, Mukul, over to India.

Back on February 16, 2017, Mukul (now 41), a rickshaw puller from Assam’s Darrang district, was reported missing. The family searched for him for days together but in vain. Eventually, a missing report was filed with the police.

Time rolled by but there was no news of Mukul. Then, one fine day in May 2019, the family was informed by the Darrang police that he was lodged in the Feni Jail of Bangladesh.

In a letter, Deputy High Commissioner of India in Dhaka Biswadip Dey had informed the Assam government that one Mukul Hazarika, son of Phuleswar Hazarika of Hodapara village under Mangaldoi Police Station in Darrang district, was languishing in the Feni Jail of Bangladesh even after completing his jail term. The Assam government, however, did not follow it up.

It was earlier this year that Darrang Superintendent of Police Sushanta Biswa Sarma, who is the brother of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, took up the matter with the state’s Home Secretary Diganta Borah.

Sarma said the state government had written to Bangladesh authorities in July requesting them to take steps to hand Mukul over to Indian authorities. He said he had no idea how the man landed in Bangladesh.

Mukul, who is a father of three children, was handed over to the BSF in Tripura on Monday. He was brought to Assam on Tuesday.

An Assam Police team had gone to Tripura along with Mukul’s father. It was an emotional moment when Mukul was reunited with his father.

“It’s been a long time since he went missing and we had lost all hopes. I am very happy to get him back,” Phuleswar told journalists.

It was learnt Mukul has forgotten his mother tongue, Assamese, and can speak only Bengali. As he appeared mentally frail, nobody is asking him how he had landed in Bangladesh.

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