Senior jail super of the central jail Subhash Kumar Ghosh told Prothom Alo, "We submitted a recommendation and other documents to the higher authorities to send a proposal to the Indian government to release Badal Farazi after his prison sentence was over. Once we receive their response, we will be able to free him. The government is very sincere in this regard."
Badal Farazi's sentence ended on 20 July. He was supposed to be released on that day in accordance to the orders of the Indian court. But the matter is still caught up in paper work. Meanwhile, Badal Farazi remains in Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj. He spends his time teaching the other inmates there.
Declaring that he was "innocent", Badal was brought back with much fanfare to Bangladesh after spending 10 years in jail there. But even four years after being brought back, he hasn't been released and remains jailed with hardened criminals.
Badal Farazi is now around 33. He went on a visit to India when he was just 18. The murder case in which he was charged, took place even before he went to India. He was declared innocent in several of the documents of the home ministry's meetings.
When Badal Farazi was crossing the border over to India through Benapole in 2008, the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) arrested him as his name was the same as an accused in a murder case. He had been going on a tourist visa from Bagerhat in Bangladesh to see Taj Mahal in India, but then never returned. According to his passport, Badal's permanent address in in Bagerhat and present address in Khulna.
In a letter sent from Dhaka central Jail to the directorate of prisons, it was written that on 6 July 2018, Badal Farazi was handed over from the Tihar jail in New Delhi to Dhaka central Jail. On 20 July Farazi's 14-year sentence ended. The India government's permission is required for his release.
Prison sources say, the government is in a dilemma over which country's rules will be followed in this matter. According to the Indian Penal Code, Badal's sentence is of 14 years. According to Bangladesh's law, life sentence amounts to 30 years. It is not clear under which law his sentence will be considered. The home ministry issued a letter to the Indian government regarding Farazi's release and asked him to be exempted from his sentence.
In a letter sent through the Bangladesh high commission, the Indian home ministry said that Farazi had been sentenced to life imprisonment.
According to Section 1251 of the 2018 Delhi Prison Rules, every convict will have to serve 14 years of "actual imprisonment' and then be released from jail. According to them, once the sentence term is over, a prisoner will not be automatically released from jail. Recommendations for release will be made based on the nature of the crime and other relevant factors. Once Farazi's 14-year sentence is completed, a recommendation for his release can be sent to the Delhi prison sentence review board in India. There may also be inquiries regarding Farazi's behaviour in jail.
Before bringing Farazi back from the Indian jail, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan had said as soon as Badal Farazi is brought back, steps will be taken for his immediate release. When asked why he had to serve the full sentence, the home minister told Prothom Alo, "We could do nothing even after knowing the boy was innocent because the Indian court had sentenced him. As their court sentenced him, he will be release in accordance to their law. But we are taking measures to accelerate his release."
Badal went to India on 13 July 2008. On 6 May that year, an elderly man had been killed in Amar Colony of India. The Indian media at various times reported that Badal Farazi was mistakenly thought to be Badal Singh and arrested at the Benapole border. He was arrested on 21 July 2008. On 7 August 2015 the Delhi's Saket court sentenced him to life. An appeal was made to the Delhi High Court against the sentence, but the lower court verdict was upheld. Badal was spending his life at the Tihar jail. He passed his secondary, higher secondary and Bachelor's exams from there.
At one point of time, Badal Farazi met with human rights worker Rahul Kapoor who would go to the jail to counsel the inmates. This led to a 'Justice for Badal' signature campaign. Rahul contacted the Bangladesh high commission in India. The government's efforts finally led to him being brought back to Bangladesh in July 2018.
Many feel that it is a violation of human rights to keep Badal imprisoned in this manner even after knowing he is innocent. The human rights activists feel that if he had been in India, he would have been released under pressure of the human rights activists there. He could have filed a case after being released and could have sought compensation.
After Badal was brought back to the country, the government in several phases released several general prisoners and those who had served 20 years in jail. Now decision, however, was taken regarding Badal.