Bali or Bala: Confusion reigns

India has not yet informed Bangladesh about the arrest or conviction of Sukhoranjan Bali, a witness in the Delwar Hossein Sayedee’s case who is said to have been lodged in Kolkata’s Dumdum Central Jail.

“Neither have we received any intimation that Indian authorities want to send back any such person,” a senior official in the Bangladesh Deputy High
He, however, did not wish to be named.

Media reports suggest that Sukhoranjan Bali was arrested while trying to enter India illegally by the Border Security Force (BSF) on Dec 23 – more than a month after he mysteriously disappeared from International Crimes Tribunal premises in Dhaka on Nov 5.

He was later handed over to Swarupnagar Police Station in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district and produced in court on charges of illegally entering Indian territory.

But BSF had recorded his name as Sukhoranjan Bala – though the other personal particulars match that of Sukhoranjan Bali, initially a prosecution witness who turned hostile.

Bali (or Bala) has been prosecuted and punished under Section 14 of India’s Foreigners Act which would lead to a brief period in prison before the accused is pushed back into the country of origin.

Media reports suggest that Bali had sent a letter to Dhaka’s New Age daily detailing how he was kidnapped from ICT premises and then pushed into India. Bengal police detectives have interrogated him after that, the reports suggest.

But Kolkata’s Bangladesh Deputy High Commission has not received any intimation about the arrest or conviction of Sukhoranjan Bali – or Bala.

Since media reports suggest his time in prison is over, it was expected that India would like to hand him over to Bangladesh.

“But we have no such intimation from Indian authorities so far,” the Deputy High Commission official said.

India has often pushed back illegal trespassers from Bangladesh unilaterally by force.

So Sukhoranjan Bali (or Bala) could just be taken to the border and asked to cross over at night when no Bangladesh border guard is in sight.

This happens to many of those who illegally cross into India from Bangladesh.

BSF officials say if the deportation is to be done with due intimation, Bangladesh border guards insist on first ascertaining the identity of the deportee and questions are raised about whether he is indeed a Bangladesh national.

That makes the deportation a lengthy and uncertain process – so taking someone to the border and asking him to cross over is an easier option.

If that happens to Sukhoranjan Bali (or Bala), the mystery of this one-time prosecution witness will continue to persist.

Source: Bd news24

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