Citizens' Issues
After 16 years in captivity: Tripura man's surprise homecoming
Agartala : As his family was at its wits end to obtain 50-year-old Ranjan Saha's death certificate, the banana seller startled one and all by returning home 16 years after he had been abducted by armed militants who held him captive at their hideout in Bangladesh. He was let off for "good behaviour" as he never tried to escape.
 
"Since my abduction, I had been pleading with the rebels to release me as I was the lone bread earner of my (four- member) poor family. But they always become furious and tortured me," the feeble-voiced Saha told IANS.
 
"They made me do various type of works in their camp deep in a jungle in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) (in southeast Bangladesh). I do not know the exact name of the place. There are at least 25 other people, mostly kidnapped by the extremists, also working in the same camp," he added.
 
Saha was kidnapped by the extremists of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) from Jampuijala, 35 km south of Agartala, on April 18, 2000, along with two others. He had gone to Jampuijala to buy bananas, which he would sell in Agartala.
 
"The guerrillas also kidnapped at gunpoint two other traders along with me. They kept us blindfolded for more than a month as we had to trek through mountainous terrain before we reached the militant's camp in the CHT," he said.
 
"The abductors subsequently learnt that we would not be able to pay any ransom. Hence they made us do various types of work like cleaning and maintaining the camp, cooking and collecting water, besides other odd jobs. The two other captives who were kidnapped along with me were shifted to other unknown locations," Saha said.
 
"Despite my inability to do so due to ill health and hostile surroundings, I quietly continued with the hard work. The food was sometimes unpalatable. I was constantly praying to god to liberate me from this awful life for the sake of my wife, two sons and my beloved daughter," he said
 
According to Saha, "the militants were pleased as I never tried to run away from their camp".
 
"Recently, god might have heard my prayers. The militants released me one month back after giving me some money. I then went to relatives' house at Madhabpur in Habiganj district of Bangladesh. From there, clandestinely I crossed the border with the help of a Bangladeshi middleman and reached my house at Shibnagar in Agartala (last week)," Saha said.
 
After Saha's abduction, his family lodged a case in the Jirania police station and met a number of people, including ministers, senior police officers and other influential people in a bid to locate him.
 
"In 2007, we filed a case in a court here to get my father's death certificate. The case is still pending with the court," Ranjan Saha's elder son, Abhijit Saha, told IANS.
 
Ranjan Saha, who is now being treated at the government-run Gobind Ballabh Pant Hospital and Medical college here, was upbeat about his future.
 
"I would re-start my business afresh after my health improves," he said.
 
Saha's 45-year-old wife Sumitra explained how she struggled during the past 16 years after her husband's abduction and brought up the children by working as a cook in a neighbour's house.
 
"I am indebted to god that my younger son Rajesh got a temporary job as a representative of a private company in Kolkata. I married off my daughter Sampa and she is happy. It is only due to the god's mercy my husband returned to us," Sumitra told IANS.
 
According to Tripura Police documents, during the peak years of terrorism in the state between 1997 and 2014, over 2,430 people, including legislators, political leaders, traders, government employees and civilians were kidnapped by extremists, of whom 1,705 were subsequently released.
 
"For many years, abduction for ransom became a trade by the militants. Many people were released by the extremists after taking ransom but many people were killed as the victims' families either could not pay the money sought or did not fulfil the rebels' other demands," security and terrorism expert Manas Paul told IANS.
 
Members of NLFT and the All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) undergo arms training in hideouts and covert camps in various parts of Bangladesh, which shares an 856-km border with Tripura.
 
Banned in 1997 by the central government, the two outfits advocate Tripura's secession from India. However, ATTF has become almost defunct as most of its cadres have surrendered.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Gujarat HC refuses to stay parliamentarian's conviction

The parliamentarian and his supporters are accused of beating up Bhimjibhai Dabhi, a medical officer at the Amreli civil hospital, for allegedly refusing to attend to the injured son of district BJP women's chief Madhuben Joshi

 

The Gujarat High Court on Monday rejected Amreli BJP Lok Sabha member Naranbhai Kachhadia's plea against his conviction by a sessions court, but allowed him relief from immediate imprisonment in a case where he and his supporters were allegedly involved in an attack on a government doctor.
 
Kachhadia had challenged in the high court last week's order by the Amreli district sessions court sentencing him to three years imprisonment for voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant doing his duty, and using force or violence through unlawful assembly.
 
The court also imposed a fine of Rs.35,000 in the case of assaulting a doctor at a government hospital in January 2013.
 
The parliamentarian and his supporters are accused of beating up Bhimjibhai Dabhi, a medical officer at the Amreli civil hospital, for allegedly refusing to attend to the injured son of district BJP women's chief Madhuben Joshi.
 
A case was registered under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Indian Penal Code, which the sessions court had upheld.
 
Monday's high court order may lead to disqualification of the MP and also affect his prospects for standing in a repoll as, according to legal sources, the law stipulates that any conviction of three or more years makes one ineligible to be a parliamentarian or even fight in polls.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

D S Ranga Rao

1 year ago

It's a crime and it should be dealt with accordingly, irrespective of the status or party of the accused/convicted. Happy to note the Courts have risen to the occasion. But suspension of the sentence from immediate implementation is not welcome, for, this is where "Law is(becomes) an ass" and that is how most of our law-makers turn out to be law-breakers.

gcmbinty

1 year ago

Another instance of intolerance of the BJP, the Member of the RSS Family, that is in Power. It must be counted at the time of elections as For & Against issues.Intolerance against the people having a contrary view is a serious issue.

Holograms, barcodes to reveal fake, illicit liquor in Maharashtra

The excise department had proposed these mandatory features of hologram and barcodes to curb the menace of spurious and illegal liquor in the state

 

All liquor bottles in Maharashtra will henceforth carry a hologram and barcode to ensure the contents are genuine, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said here on Monday.
 
A decision to this effect, which will cover country (desi) liquor, major locally manufactured brands and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), was taken by the state cabinet at a meeting presided over by Fadnavis.
 
"This will check illicit or spurious liquor sales in the markets which cuts into the excise revenue of the state," Fadnavis said.
 
The decision assumes significance in the wake of the spurious liquor tragedy of June 17 last year which claimed 106 lives -- the worst in the state's history.
 
The excise department had proposed these mandatory features of hologram and barcodes to curb the menace of spurious and illegal liquor in the state.
 
With the barcode, it would simply require a scan from a mobile phone to check the genuineness or otherwise of the liquor bottle, through a special app that will be developed.
 
The measure will also enable a 'track and trace mechanism' of the bottle right from the manufacturer to the retailer and also make public its authenticity.
 
The barcode scan will provided details of the date and place of manufacture, its route from the distillery to the wholesaler and to the local retailer, among other things.
 
Retailers shall also be required to provide special lenses to buyers to enable them to read the covert security features of the hologram that are invisible to the naked eye to confirm its authenticity.
 
To be positioned near the lid/mouth of the bottle, the polyester-based hologram -- which cannot be duplicated or reused -- would also reveal if the bottle is smuggled or not.
 
An official from the Chief Minister's Office said the move will be implemented "very soon" after the relevant formalities are completed.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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