16, Nov 2021 | CJP Team
On November 15, CJP finally succeeded in reuniting Mojibor Sheikh with his family after securing his release from the Goalpara Detention Centre in Assam. Sheikh, a daily wage labourer from Shaljhora village that falls under the jurisdiction of Dhaligaon police station in the Chirang district of Assam, had been declared foreigner and thrown behind bars exactly two years ago.
When we finally dropped him home on the night of November 15, emotions ran high. His mother Masiran Bewa cried tears of joy and hugged him. “I cried for two years because I couldn’t see you. My heart ached,” said the elderly lady clutching her son’s arm. Mojibor was too emotionally overcome to say anything for some time.
After a while he expressed how he was still processing his trauma, “I was born here, I work here, how did I suddenly become a foreigner?” He shuddered at the memory of his captivity, “I spent these two years with great difficulty.”
Every day of each week, a formidable team of community volunteers, district volunteer motivators and lawyers—CJP’s Team Assam – is providing ready at hand paralegal guidance, counselling and actual legal aid to hundreds of individuals and families paralysed by the citizenship-driven humanitarian crisis in the state. Our boots on the ground approach has ensured that 12,00,000 persons filled their forms to enlist in the NRC (2017-2019) and over the past one year alone we have helped release 41 persons from Assam’s dreaded detention camps. Our intrepid team provides paralegal assistance to, on an average of 72-96 families each month. Our district-level, legal team works on 25 Foreigner Tribunal cases month on month. This ground level data ensures informed interventions by CJP in our Constitutional Courts, the Guwahati High Court and the Supreme Court. Such work is possible because of you, individuals all over India, who believe in this work. Our maxim, Equal Rights for All. #HelpCJPHelpAssam. Donate NOW!
Brief background of the case
CJP’s Assam state team had been looking for his home since the first week of September and we finally found where his family lived in the third week of September. A team comprising Assam state team in-charge Nanda Ghosh, District Volunteer Motivator Abul Kalam Azad and community volunteer Pijush Chakraborty, met the family.
Ever since Mojibor Sheikh was declared a foreigner and sent to a detention camp, his wife Rejiya Khatun has been working in other people’s homes as a domestic help, just so that she can provide for her family in the absence of her husband who was the family’s breadwinner. “We took a loan worth Rs 32,000 to fight his case. Now I work in the homes of other people to pay off our debts,” she told the CJP team. What’s worse, is that his son who was studying in class seven at the time of his father’s incarceration, was forced to drop out of school and take up daily wage work to supplement the family’s income.
The CJP team examined all documents and started the process of looking for a bailor. When we found one, we started the process of having their documents verified so that the release application could move forward. “On November 13, we went to the office of the Superintendent of Police (Border) in Chirang and completed a bulk of the formalities,” says Ghosh. Then on November 15, Ghosh, Azad and driver Ashikul Hussain travelled to the Border Branch with the bailor and completed the remaining formalities, even as CJP legal team’s advocate Dewan Abdur Rahim ensured all the legal formalities were completed. Following this our team went to Goalpara detention centre to get Mojibor Sheikh and brought him to the Border branch office for final formalities, but it was late at night and the SP was not present at the time. The team was asked to appear the following day.
So, we took Sheikh to his village where most people had already turned in for the night. But some who knew that Sheikh was returning home stayed awake with his family to welcome him.
Mojibor’s mother Masiran Bewa blessed the CJP team and said, “You freed my son from the torment of hell. I will never forget it. I will pray to Allah every day for your good fortune!”
His wife Rejiya Khatun also thanked CJP saying, “I am grateful to CJP. You kept your word and brought my husband back. I pray for your long life so you can help more people like us.”
Sheikh’s daughter is married and has a daughter of her own. This little girl, rushed to greet her grand father and he scooped her in his arms.
Mojibor Sheikh’s release order and images of his reunion with his family may be viewed here: