Cooch Behar, Aug. 30: Out of the 148 “Bangladeshis” arrested on August 16, the subdivisional magistrate today declared all to be Indian nationals, barring one person, who was found to be a resident of one of the various enclaves along the international border.
The arrested people had been picked up by the BSF from New Cooch Behar railway station on suspicion of being Bangladeshis. Of the 148, 29 were juveniles, who were sent to the government home. There were 38 children below seven years of age and were granted bail. The remaining 81 men and women were sent to the district jail.
Appearing on behalf of the arrested people, lawyer Abdul Jalil produced ration cards and voter identity cards which proved that out of the 81 persons sent to judicial custody, only one person was the resident of a Bangladeshi enclave.
Magistrate Sujit Kumar Jha went through the documents before releasing all 80 people on personal bonds of Rs 500 each.