Citizenship Trauma: Gangadhar reaches home after years in Assam Detention Centre

16, Sep 2021

“My son Ganga is back,” his mother cried as hugged and held him as he reached his family.

Guwahati: Almost a decade later, Gangadhar Pramanik from West Bengal who was declared foreigner by a Foreigners’ Tribunal in Assam and put behind bar at the Goalpara detention centre, finally reunited with his family in Bankura recently.

The then 23-year-old Gangadhar had left his home in search of work. Lived in abject poverty and with growing needs of the family, he had decided to board a train and look for work wherever it took me.

Young Gangadhar, a resident of Radhanagar village of Bankura district in West Bengal, boarded a train from Bishnupur to Howrah and then another train and eventually landed in Guwahati.

“When I reached Guwahati, one person asked me to come with him saying he would offer me a job, food and shelter. So, I went with him,” he recalled.

Passing several years thereafter as a helper in a restaurant, a factory worker in the city, Gangadhar had faced many troubles till one day when Assam police caught him and sent him behind bars suspecting to be an illegal infiltrator from Bangladesh.

Gangadhar with his mother after 10 years | pic: CJP

As he was lodged in the detention centre, his father Mantu passed away and his mother suffered from a bout of paralysis in the meantime without his knowledge.

Luckily, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), a legal right body, found out about Gangadhar in July. “It was four years in detention centre, when we found his address in West Bengal, we discovered that nobody lived there anymore. Moreover, there was no way to contact them as they had left behind no forwarding address or phone numbers,” said CJP Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh.

Based on information provided by their former neighbours, CJP managed to trace his mother Bharati to his sister Champa’s house. The case of Gangadhar raises question on the mechanism of detecting a foreigner, said CJP members.

Finally CJP succeeded to manage a bailor for him but as Gangadhar had no address in the state, the CJP officials had to give written undertakings that they would take him home to West Bengal and take responsibility for him.










“My son Ganga is back,” his mother cried as hugged and held him as he reached his family.

The original piece may be read here


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