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Myanmar national sent to Delhi

Calcutta, July 3: Calcutta High Court today sent Zahura Begum, a Myanmar national arrested in 2009 from Salt Lake on the charge of infiltration and who completed a jail term in 2010 but was not pushed back, to a shelter in Delhi.

“Zahura had applied for refugee status in India but the government is yet to approve her prayer. Her husband and seven children have already got refugee status from the Kashmir government and are staying there in a refugee camp,” her lawyer Subir Sanyal said.

Zahura was arrested on April 2, 2009, and sent to jail for 14 months on the charge of infiltration. But she was not released on completion of the jail term, the lawyer said.

She approached Calcutta High Court seeking her release. In December last year, the court asked the state government to take steps to send her back to Myanmar.

But the state replied that Zahura’s husband and children had already got refugee status in Kashmir and it was not possible to send her to Myanmar.

The court then asked the Centre to keep Zahura in Tihar, but the government responded that this was not possible since she was no longer an accused.

The judge today asked a government-run home in Delhi, Nirmal Chhaya, to take in Zahura till her application for refugee status was disposed of.