Amid emotional scenes, five-year-old Indian boy Ariful Sheikh today returned home in Murshidabad district after spending a year in a Bangladesh jail along with his grandparents after being sentenced to two months in prison for trespassing.
Ariful and his grandparent--Hashimuddin Sheikh (48) and Mafroza Khatun (40)--reached Gede border checkpoint in Nadia district by road through western Chuadanga frontier in Bangladesh at 11.30 am, Murshidabad police said.
Setting foot on Indian soil, Sheikh, a farmer, said, "it feels good to be returning home after such a long time".
Ariful's parents said they were happy to be finally reunited with their son.
"I am very happy and I thank everyone for their help and support," his mother said.
Asked where was he for the past one year, Ariful promptly said, "jailkhana"(jail), and when further asked in which country he replied, "Bangladesh".
Ariful had accompanied his grandparents to the neighbouring country in April last year to visit an ailing relative there.
The three were arrested while returning from Bangladesh on April 15, 2011 after they were found travelling without proper travel documents, police said. The family hails from Gajadhar Para near Baharampur.
They were sentenced to a two-month jail term by a judicial magistrate court in Kushthia in Bangladesh and fined Taka 500 (about Rs 300). Although their term ended in June last, they had been languishing in Kushtia jail even after their prison term was over and an order to be repatriated to India.
Deputy Commissioner or Administrative Chief of western Kushtia district, Banamali Bhoumik, told PTI in Dhaka on phone that the district administration arranged a special car for the three to be taken to neighbouring Chuadanga, amid an opposition enforced nationwide daylong shutdown.
They crossed the Darshana border with the help of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and their Indian counterparts Border Security Force (BSF). Later, the BSF handed them over to Murshidabad police, BSF sources said.
Kushtia district prison jailor Nurul Islam told PTI the child was staying with his grandparents as a "released prisoner" for the past nine months on expiry of their two-month jail term on trespassing charges.
"The woman (grandmother) became restless in recent months and threatened to commit suicide as the procedural complications took a long time for their return home" despite exchange of letters between the Foreign Ministries and border guards of the two countries, Islam said.
5-yr-old Indian boy who spent a year in Bangladesh jail reaches home : Neighbours News - India Today