Indian police would send arrested BNP leader Salahuddin Ahmed back to Bangladesh if the court orders, a top police official in Meghalaya told The Daily Star yesterday.
Salahuddin, now receiving treatment at Shillong Civil Hospital, would be produced before a Meghalaya court once the hospital authorities release him, said Vivek Syiem, superintendent of police (city) of East Khasi Hills in the Indian state of Meghalaya.
In cases of trespass like the one involving Salahuddin, police usually send the intruder back to his home country upon court order. There wouldn’t be much procedural complexities in sending the arrested Bangladeshi politician back home, Syiem told this correspondent over the phone at 6:25pm.
He, however, could not say when that would happen.
Syiem said they already communicated the matter to Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi and Bangladesh mission in Kolkata.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said both the Indian and Bangladesh governments started legal process so that the BNP leader can be brought home.
It has been proved that Salahuddin went into hiding and changed his locations several times in the last two months, Kamal told reporters after a programme at Tejgaon Adarsha School and College.
The BNP leader faces several cases and action would be taken once he is brought home, added the minister.
Talking to this newspaper over the phone at 6:10pm, M Kharkrang, SP of East Khasi Hills, said, “We could not produce him [Salahuddin] before the court today [yesterday] as the Shillong Civil Hospital authority is yet to release him.”
He said they would interrogate Salahuddin about his trespass into Indian territory upon his release from the hospital.
Kharkrang said Salahuddin told them during initial quizzing that a group of people identifying themselves as detectives had picked him up from a Uttara house in Dhaka city. Since then, he had been kept blindfolded most of the time.
Asked how he ended up in Shillong crossing the Bangladesh border, Salahuddin told the Meghalaya police that he had no idea as he had been blindfolded, said the police official.
Dr DJ Goswami, who is attending Salahuddin at the hospital, told our New Delhi correspondent that the BNP leader was suffering from kidney ailments and cardiac problems.
“We have conducted some tests on the patient. His ECG is quite normal. I think we have to consult a surgeon for the kidney stones,” said Goswami.
On Monday evening, a Shillong police patrol spotted the BNP leader loitering in Golf Link area of the tourist city around two months after he had been allegedly picked up by plainclothes law enforcers from a house in Dhaka’s Uttara area on March 10.
As he could not produce any documents and also appeared to be “mentally unbalanced”, they arrested him for trespassing and admitted him to a mental hospital. The BNP leader was later shifted to Shillong Civil Hospital.
Police filed a case against him under Section-14 of the Foreigner’s Act for entering India without valid travel documents, said Meghalaya police.
It still remains unclear how and when Salahuddin, joint secretary general of the BNP, landed in Shillong.
On Tuesday, Salahuddin’s wife Hasina Ahmed got a phone call from her husband from a hospital in Shillong. She then informed the media about it.
Talking to reporters at her Gulshan house yesterday, Hasina said she wanted to meet her husband as early as possible.
“We heard that he was arrested in India… I want to meet him at the earliest upon getting Indian visa.”
She said they would decide the next course of action for bringing her husband back after she meets him in India.
Hasina said she tried to contact him over the phone yesterday at the Shillong hospital but failed.