A court in Vasai has freed 22 people from Murshidabad in West Bengal who were dumped in jail for 99 days after the Thane Police alleged that they were Bangladeshis.
On December 26 last year,police arrested 26 people from a construction site in Naigaon East and Assistant Inspector Anand Bhoir booked them under the Foreigners Act and the Passport Act,claiming they were Bangladeshis. Interestingly,the police booked them on the basis of the statement of two of them.
Those who have been caught are without valid legal documents and have illegally entered India. Accused number one and two have claimed all others are Bangladeshis, the police told the court in their remand application.
Maharashtra State Minorities Commission chairman Munaf Hakeem,who took up the issue,alleged,The police destroyed the documents that they showed to them,saying they were fake and could be easily procured for Rs 500.
The families of some of them got in touch with Congress MP from Murshidabad Mannan Hussain,who took up the matter with the minorities commission,which then asked the police to verify the claims of those detained. The state police visited Murshidabad and found that 22 of those detained were Indian citizens, Hakim said.
On March 28,the police sought their discharge. We have received proof that they are Indian residents and they should be set free, Anand Bhoir said in an application to the court,seeking discharge of those detained.
On April 2,the court acquitted 22 of those detained. Two were given bail and asked to prove that they were Indian citizens while the remaining two were found to be Bangladeshi citizens.
The minority commission has meanwhile asked for action against the police officers who made 22 Indian citizens stay in jail for no fault of theirs. How can you take action against your own citizens who are showing you valid documents. There is a need for the state to act against such police officers who have forced innocent Indian residents to spend 99 days in jail, Hakim said.
The Maharashtra government has since 2009 arrested 7,698 Bangladeshis out of which 3,009 had been deported back.