GUWAHATI: An Assam woman, languishing in the Kokrajhar detention camp for illegal immigrants in a case of mistaken identity, finally walked free on Wednesday.
Madhubala Mandal was released after the police admitted to their goof-up before the Foreigners’ Tribunal. However, there is no clarity on who will pay for detaining an innocent woman for nearly three years. The 59-year-old Madhubala, a widow, was sent to the detention camp in 2016 as the police mixed up her name with “Madhumala Das” of the same village in Lower Assam’s Chirang district.
Chirang SP Sudhakar Singh attributed the goof-up to the existence of three women by the same name. “There are three women in the village by the same name. The facts came out during an inquiry. It was a case of mistaken identity,” Singh admitted.
However, he refused to comment when asked if action will be taken against the investigating officer in the case and how the police will compensate the victim.
Singh personally pursued the case after the media had reported extensively on how an innocent woman was made to languish in the detention camp due to lapses by the police. Following the inquiry, he approached the Foreigners’ Tribunal and conveyed that it was a case of mistaken identity. Subsequently, the Tribunal ordered her release.
The notice by the Tribunal in 2016 was issued in the name of Madhumala Das but the police had picked up Madhubala Mandal.
Recently, Singh told this newspaper, “When the case was initiated, she was married to a Das. Following the death of her husband, she got married to a Mandal. Due to the change in her title, people are saying they are two different persons. When she was caught, it was verified.”
Madhubala broke down when she was being taken out of the detention camp. She also wept at the office of the SP where she was initially taken following her release from the camp.
Police admitted to mixing up her name
The 59-year-old Madhubala, a widow, was sent to the detention camp in 2016 as the police mixed up her name with ‘Madhumala Das’ of the same village in Lower Assam’s Chirang district. Chirang SP Sudhakar Singh attributed the goof-up to the existence of three women by the same name in the village.