KOLKATA: In a dramatic story of a cross-border prisoner, an Indian man who was allegedly kidnapped by Bangladeshi pirates and awarded jail sentence for 30 years by a Bangladeshi court, has to complete his
remaining jail term of 12 years in India after being extradited on November 23 this year. He has already spent 17 years of his life in Jessore Prison in southern Bangladesh.
Chittaranjan Gayen (then 32) of Gosaba in Sundarbans was fishing in a river near Indo-Bangladesh border when he was allegedly kidnapped by Bangladeshi pirates in 1999 and taken to the other side of Sundarbans through the porous channels.
According to Chittaranjan's wife Shibani, there was an encounter between the pirates and Bangladesh border guards. The pirates abandoned the boat, and tied up Chittaranjan, who was arrested and slapped with charges of illegally transporting arms through the border. He was awarded 30 years rigorous imprisonment.
After spending 17 years in Jessore Prison, Chittaranjan was sent to India on November 23 this year as a result of prisoner exchange deal signed between the two neighbours in 2010. Accordingly, many Bangladeshi prisoners languishing in Indian jails were sent back in exchange of fewer Indian prisoners such as Chittaranjan who were lodged in Bangladeshi jails.
"As soon as he came back on November 23, he was lodged in Alipore Prison. Was the 17 years of prison not enough? He has not seen his daughters Manju and Devika grow. They were 6 and 1 respectively back then in 1999. Even now, the 50-year-old man has to serve 12 years more jail term in his own country. What was his crime if he was kidnapped? I am tired. I don't know whether he will see me alive when he gets out," said a teary-eyed Shibani.
The woman has raised their two daughters with good education and got them married single-handedly.
However, police authorities say that though the jail term can not be reduced by them, but if Chittaranjan behaves well, he may be paroled on the basis of good conduct.