By Mohammad Asif

BURDWAN: A Burdwan couple, who had gone to Bengaluru to work as labourers and had to spend 301 days in prison for being suspected as illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, boarded a train on Thursday to reach home after a court granted them bail.

Palash and Shukla Adhikari’s struggle began in July 2022. They were in Bengaluru with their two-year-old child when they got arrested after police suspected them to be from Bangladesh, and booked them under the Foreigners Act. The couple tried explaining to police that they were from Jhaugram’s Telepukur under Jamalpur police station in East Burdwan, but to no avail.

Later a Bengaluru police team checked Palash’s home in East Burdwan. The team also met the local Jamalpur BDO and checked the documents. Palash’s relatives also reached Bengaluru and hired lawyers to move their bail plea. Police filed a charge sheet against them.

Palash’s relative Sujoy Haldar said the couple were granted bail on April 28, but they were released from jail on May 24 as they could not comply with the bail bonds immediately which required a local guarantor to submit their land deeds. Haldar, along with the couple, boarded the Howrah-bound Duronto Express on Thursday morning. They will reach home on Friday.

Palash’s sister Sathi Adhikary, who works at a beauty parlour, had spent her earnings to fight the case. “I got a call around 9.30pm on May 24 that dada (elder brother) and boudi (sister-in-law) were released from prison. I spoke to them over a video call. During the video call, my mother could not hold back her tears. Both were looking weak. She also talked with her two-year old nephew.”

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