The mother of a 23-year-old civil engineer has written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee asking her to take urgent steps to bring back her son, who has allegedly been jailed in Azerbaijan on grounds of being an illegal migrant. In her letter, Anarban Bibi has claimed that her son Abdul Hossain was duped by a tout, who had taken him to Azerbaijan with the promise of a job, and that she had come to know of his plight only on Wednesday, when Hossain sent a WhatsApp video to one of his friends in their native village Koytha, in Birbhum district.
Anarban Bibi last spoke to her son, who had been working in New Delhi, a fortnight ago. “We had no idea that he had gone abroad. He had called me fifteen days ago and we had a normal conversation. We thought he was calling from either Delhi or Kolkata. He did not call us after that. Recently, he sent a video message from prison to one of his friends on WhatsApp where he said he has been duped by a tout, who took him to Azerbaijan with the promise of providing a job. He has been detained by the police there and has been in prison since January 31,” Anarban Bibi told The Indian Express. The family submitted the letter to the office of the Rampurhat sub-divisional officer in Birbhum. “We have received the letter and will forward it to the concerned authority,” confirmed a senior officer.
According to Anarban Bibi, several other Indians, many of whom were from Bengal, were in prison with her son. “We are very poor and raised our son with a lot of difficulties. He is an engineer and had gone to Delhi for work. He is a good boy and has now landed in a prison in a foreign country through no fault of his. I have requested the chief minister to take urgent steps and bring my son back to the country. I am also making an appeal to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to look into this matter. Through the video message, we have come to know that there are 160 Indians presently lodged in that prison and 45 of them are Bengalis,” she said.
Samirul Islam, a resident of the area and president of the Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, said, “We have come to know that Abdul had gone to Azerbaijan to work in an oil field. However, he was duped by a tout who had kept him in a house without giving him any work. Since January 31, he was put in jail. We have learned that there are others who have similarly been duped by touts and living in that prison. We will urge the central government to make arrangements for their release.”
Members of the Bangla Sanskriti Mancha visited Hossain’s house on Friday. “Our representatives met Abdul’s mother today. We have promised to provide all kinds of help including legal support,” said Islam.