While we woe to Kulbhushan Jadhav and demand justice for Sarabjit, a Bangladeshi national is trapped in an Indian jail for years for the crime he didn’t commit. When we talk about justice, that means we still have faith in our judicial system. But what if one day you wake up and find that your very close friend or relative has been caught and plotted in a crime he didn’t even commit? You’ll definitely have that spine-chilling adrenaline rush with goosebumps while your mind still says that everything is nothing more than a story.
While you pray to god that what you have just read is a story, here we have one such strikingly similar story of a prisoner being falsely implicated in a murder case in India. This unfortunate story is of a Bangladeshi citizen named Badol Farazi who is stuck in Tihar Jail, Delhi (India) from last 10 years and his mother is still waiting desperately for his son to return back to his native land while his father passed away back home in Bangladesh with the last wish to see his son once which could not be fulfilled.
This story starts back in 2008 when Mr. Badol Farazi was like any other spirited youth whose only purpose to visit India was to explore the beautiful landscapes of this country as a tourist but even before he could formally enter the country, he was arrested from the Benapole Immigration port in 2008 on charges of a murder. At the time of his arrest he did not know English and even Hindi back then and so he could not explain to the officials that he was not the person they were looking for and someone else who was not at all connected to the case. Since Mr. Badol Farazi could not communicate his innocence to the authorities, he was falsely implicated for the murder of a 70 years old woman (Nirmal Madaan) in Delhi by her domestic help “Badal Singh” instead of whom the person in question “Badol Farazi” was arrested.
Later, Mr. Badol Farazi was convicted by the session court, Saket, New Delhi under section 302 on charges of murder on August 7, 2015. The judgment was later validated by the High Court and the punishment which he is serving currently is life imprisonment. He later filed a petition in the supreme court where his case has been dismissed and his life term sentence has been validated.
Mr. Badol Farazi, in the last ten years, has maintained that he is innocent and was not even present in India when the murder took place. All his fellow prisoners and Jail authorities confirm that he has always stuck to one single story and they believe that there is a strong possibility that he is speaking the truth. Jail authorities have always praised his conduct and good behavior and he has come a long way for someone who did not even know English and Hindi languages once and has completed his class 8th, 10th, 12th and graduation studies, all from the Jail premises through National Institute of Open Schooling and IGNOU programme facilities available in Tihar Jail.
Today, he speaks fluent English and even has a certificate of doing exceptionally well in an English speaking Course from the Teach India, Times of India Campaign. He worked tirelessly inside the Tihar Jail and managed the IGNOU center in Tihar Jail Number 3 until recently when he was shifted to the newly opened Mandoli Jail in Delhi where he still works as a Jail Seva Daar.
In the year, 2012, the High Commission of Bangladesh in India wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs, India requesting the release of Mr. Farazi claiming his innocence with strong evidence attached in his favor. The letter dated 17th December 2012 quotes…
“It is to mention that Badol Farazi’s Passport No. Y 0220271 was stamped with Indian ‘ T ‘ Visa No, AA 710565 on 9th July ’08 by the High Commission of India, Dhaka whereas the Murder in which he has been entangled was committed in Delhi on 05th May ’08. Indeed he came to India later to the commission of offense but he is miserably suffering from criminal charges being imposed upon illegitimately. It is to note that the HCI (High Commission of India), Dhaka confirmed the issuance of visa for him, Bangladesh Immigration confirmed his date of entry into India and the School authority of Badol confirmed his presence in School during the commission of offence in India & all these events substantiate his innocence in the alleged offence.
It would be very highly appreciated if the esteemed Ministry could kindly convey this message urgently to the concerned authority in order to secure the human rights of the ill-fated individual from endless and unfair sufferings, please.”
This was not the only letter which the High Commission of Bangladesh in India wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs, India to seek the release of Badol Farazi. The Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh High Commission in India, Mr. Salahuddin Noman Chowdhury and Mr. Mosharaf Hossain, Minister (Consular), Bangladesh High Commission in India have already written to the Indian government multiple times requesting the release of Mr. Farazi but since they have not received any positive reply through diplomatic channels, they have hired a good lawyer for him all they could do was provide them legal help.
If these facts were not enough, an article in the Indian Express in the year 2012 also highlighted the tragic story of false implication of Mr. Badol Farazi in a murder case. The Indian Express article is still available on the Internet.
Since, none of these pieces of evidence could prove to be enough to set Badol Farazi free from the prison walls so after much contemplation and running from pillar to post in the last 1.5 years, We have decided to resort to collective action and take a stand for Mr. Badol Farazi who is constantly looking for hope and support from an entire nation and its judiciary from the last ten years but unfortunately has got none.
Kindly sign this petition which we have started to ensure justice for Badol Farazi so that he can walk out of an Indian Jail and go back to his country as a free man and a mother can have her son back again.
As you sign this petition, I am hopeful that it is not long before the national and international community recognizes the plight of prisoners stuck in foreign jails and a comprehensive international mechanism for protecting the basic human rights of such prisoners is laid out so that we have no more men suffering like Sarabjit Sigh, Kulbhushan Jadhav, and Badol Farazi.
The above video clip of Badol Farazi has been taken from a documentary, “Story of Tihar – A Center of Reformation” which has documented the good practices of reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners followed in Tihar Jail and has also documented the stories of prisoners who have shown exceptional reformation in the Tihar Jail and Badol Farazi is one of them.
This letter written by Badol Farazi speaks volumes about what all he has gone through ever since he was arrested in India. He has written this letter at a time when he was still learning English in the Jail premises, and so it is not his language expertise but his emotions which count.