12, Jun 2021 | Prasenjit Gupta
Despite being an Indian citizen, 60-year-old Shanti Basfore and 42-year-old Doyjan Bibi were detained in the detention camp. They had to stay in detention camps for more than two years due to poverty and the unilateral verdict of the Foreigners Tribunal. Despite having all the documents and evidence as Indian citizens, they have been imprisoned only for poverty and illiteracy. In the end, the human rights organisation Citizens for Justice & Peace (CJP) came forward to fight for their release.
Despite Covid predicament, the CJP continued its legal battle to free Doyjan Bibi and Shanti Basfore. At the effort of the CJP, Shanti Basfore of Ramrai Kutir, a remote village on the Indo-Bangla border in Golakganj, Dhubri district, finally emerged under the open sky. About two years and one month ago, after being declared a foreigner in a unilateral verdict of foreign tribunal, the police came and took her to the Kokrajhar detention camp. Despite having the legacy data of 1956 and 1966 of Shanti’s father Punjabi Basfore, the tribunal identified her as a foreigner. Punjabi Basfore was a cleaner of Dhubri Police Reserve. While working as a cleaner in the Police Reserve, Punjabi a resident of Ward no 10 in Dhubri, his 17-year-old daughter Shanti married to Madan Lal Basfore of Ramrai Kuti village on the Indo-Bangladesh border.
Shanti used to work as a sweeper there. Could not fight the legal battle of the foreigners tribunal just because of illiteracy and being financially weak. Shanti could not even afford a lawyer. As a result, despite being an Indian, she had to stay in the Kokrajhar detention camp. Describing her captive life, Shanti Basfore said that she had to go through a lot of hardships. The food provided in the camp had to be swallowed with great difficulty. They were given half-boiled rice and half-boiled vegetables. Besides, she bought biscuits worth Rs 10 for Rs 20 and somehow spent the day eating that. She gives thanks to team CJP for freeing her from Detention camp.
Meanwhile, a few days ago, Doyjan Bibi (42) of Madhusolmari village under Gauripur police station of Dhubri district finally came under the open sky for CJP’s activision after being imprisoned in a detention camp for 2 years and 21 days. Doyjan Bibi is a resident of Madhusolmari under Gauripur police station in Dhubri district. She was married to Rejjak Ali of the same village. A couple of years ago, on the first day of Ramadan, in the absence of her husband, the police arrest Doyjan Bibi as a foreigner. Like Shanti Basfore, they could not afford to sue the foreign tribunal for financial misery. Despite having all the documents and evidence as Indian citizens, she has been imprisoned in Kokrajhar detention camp for two long years.
On behalf of team CJP Nanda Ghosh is working on human rights across Assam. The CJP is coming forward, especially for the release of Indian nationals who are being held in detention camps due to financial hardship and lack of education. CJP activist Habibul Bepari said the CJP is working for Indian citizens across Assam who could not afford to fight legally.