The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jail trauma for ‘spy’ ring child

Behrampore, Feb. 8: Grandparents of little Ariane Biswas, who is languishing in jail with her mother Ismatara, arrested for her alleged links with the ISI, have sought custody of the child.

Two-and-a-half-year-old Ariane’s grandfather, Afazuddin Biswas, has moved court on the belief that Ismatara has lost her mental balance and has been neglecting her daughter, who is being cared for by the other inmates of the central jail.

Ismatara, along with husband Ziauddin Biswas and four others, was arrested on November 17 last year from Durlabherpara village in Jalangi, Murshidabad.

“For the past 15 days, Ismatara has not been keeping well and has developed mental sickness. The jail authorities have not taken any measure to cure her. We met Ismatara thrice recently and she failed to recognise her own parents and refused to speak to anyone,” Afazuddin alleged.

“I have learnt from people I know inside the jail that very recently, Ismatara wanted to kill her daughter. She had tried to feed her a floor-disinfecting fluid. If the other women had not seen her (trying to kill her daughter), the baby could have been killed,” Ziauddin’s father said.

The other inmates had told him and his wife that Ismatara often hurts the child. “They told me that on many occasions they have rushed to the baby’s rescue on hearing her cries of pain,” Afazuddin said.

The jail authorities had been forced to separate mother and child after these incidents and ask the other women to tend to the child’s needs.

“Ismatara is not well and the doctor here has submitted a report on her condition, but I do not know whether she is mentally unsound. The child is with her mother and the other inmates look after her and play with her too,” said jail superintendent Sunirmal Ghosh.

Ismatara was unable to attend court on February 5 due to failing health, he added.

“We had requested the sub-divisional court on January 28 that Ariane be handed over to Ziauddin’s mother as Ismatara was becoming mentally unstable. But the jail authorities submitted a report to the contrary and the magistrate did not grant permission,” said Ismatara’s lawyer Sirajul Islam.

Behrampore MLA Mayarani Pal corroborated the fact that Ismatara was behaving abnormally. “When I visited the jail some time ago, Ismatara did not even speak to me... she seemed abnormal,” Pal said.

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