JUSTICE FOR BADOL FARAZI - A BANGLADESHI CITIZEN STUCK IN TIHAR JAIL FROM LAST 10 YEARS
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I am a social worker and currently I am pursuing my PhD in Social Work from Delhi University. As a part of my curriculum in M.A Social Work, I undertook social work practice in Tihar Jail, New Delhi from July, 2016 and till date I offer voluntary services in Tihar Jail and work towards the reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners through counseling techniques and professional social work methods of casework and group work.
During the course of my social work practice, I met a prisoner who was lodged in Tihar Jail Number 3, Mr. Badol Farazi S/O Mr. Abdul Khalek Farazi. Mr. Badol Farazi is not an Indian National and is a citizen of Bangladesh and is stuck in Tihar Jail, Delhi from last ten years. He first came to Tihar Jail on 21st July, 2008 and since then he is in the Jail only. I know that it will be difficult for anyone to believe this but his case is like a ‘tragic story’ straight out from a Bollywood movie in which a foreign national gets falsely implicated and is imprisoned in a foreign Jail for a life time.
When Mr. Badol Farazi came to the Jail, he did not know English and even Hindi and this is one of the major reasons that when he was arrested from the Benapole Immigration checkpost in 2008 on charges of a murder, he could not tell the relevant authorities 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 an elderly woman in Delhi by her domestic help "Badal Singh" instead of whom the person in question "Badol farazi" was arrested. Mr. Badol Farazi was later 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 has now filed a petition in the Supreme Court where his case has been dismissed.
Mr. Badol Farazi has come a long way since 2008 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 centre 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.
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.
In the year, 2012, the High Commission of Bangladesh wrote to the Ministry of External Affairs of India requesting the release of Mr. Farazi and claiming his innocence with strong evidences attached in his favour. A news article in the Indian Express, dated October 11, 2012 also talked about his innocence. I have attached the letter from the Bangladesh High Commission, the article in the Indian Express and the achievement certificates of Mr. Badol Farazi with this petition so that you all can go through them once and get a clearer picture of his case.
I also met the Deputy High Commissioner of Bangladesh High Commission in India, Mr. Salahuddin Noman Chowdhury and Mr. Mosharaf Hossain, Minister (Consular), Bangladesh High Commission but they also told me that they have already written multiple times to the Indian government requesting the release of Mr. Farazi but since they have not received any reply from the Indian government, they hired a good lawyer for him and have always helped him to fight his case first in the session court and then in the High Court. The Bangladesh high commission has now requested for the transfer of Badol Farazi to a jail in Bangladesh under the transfer of sentenced persons agreement signed between India and Bangladesh and that too has been stuck somewhere in diplomatic protocols. The representatives from the High Commission of Bangladesh in India sited stringent diplomatic protocols due to which they can not pursue Mr. Farazi's case directly with the Prime Minister's Office but agreed to share the information regarding Mr. Badol's case with me if I wanted to pursue his case further. Recently, I have also written to the office of our Honorable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi requesting his intervention in Mr. Farazi's case so that he can live as a free man again in his own country.
I strongly feel that we talk so much about reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners in the Jail and since Mr. Badol Farazi has shown such exceptional reformation in the prison, his release as a good will gesture to Bangladesh can work as a motivation for all other prisoners stuck in the Jail to change their life paths and resort to good ways. It will also highlight the bright side of an Indian Jail as a center of reformation and improvement where a person who did not even know Hindi and English languages and hence could not communicate inside the jail initially is now going out as an educated graduate.
During the last ten years, Mr. Farazi has gone through a lot and has even lost his father back home in Bangladesh, I request you all to collectively intervene in his case so that he can be finally given redemption and be allowed to start his life as a free man in his own country once again as he still has a life ahead in front of him which he does not want to spend inside the Jail.
Please sign this petition to ensure justice for Badol Farazi so that he can walk out of an Indian Jail and go back to his country, Bangladesh.
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