The Telegraph
Thursday , March 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bangla lady refuses pushback
- 103-yr-old woman asks to be released with son

Cooch Behar, March 21: A 103-year-old Bangladeshi woman who completed a jail sentence for infiltrating into India has refused to be repatriated without her son who is serving a prison term for the same offence.

Rangobala Sarkar told the prison authorities that there was no one to take care of her outside the jail except her son and she would not be able to survive on her own at this age.

Sources said the widow had told the authorities of Cooch Behar jail that she would not leave the prison till her son Satyaranjan Sarkar, 45, completed his term on May 30. Rangobala’s sentence ended on March 15.

According to sources, the inspector-general of prisons, Ranvir Kumar, has sent a directive to start the process for the repatriation of Rangobala.

The woman is supposed to be taken to Behrampore prison in Murshidabad on Sunday and repatriated to Bangladesh on the same day.

“She has been requesting the jail authorities not to send her back home alone. She does not want to return without her son. She said she would die without any help as she was too old to fend for herself,” a jail source said.

The superintendent of Cooch Behar prison, Khagendranath Bir, said: “Jail records show the woman’s age as 103. The order for her repatriation has come and we cannot keep her any longer. We will have to send her back to Bangladesh.”

Rangobala used to stay with her son and daughter-in-law in Baniyagati village in Bangladesh’s Sirajganj district.

Satyaranjan is a farmer.

Her daughter Minoti had married a resident of Tantipara on the outskirts of Cooch Behar. “Rangobala was arrested from Changrabanda on October 19, 2009, along with her son for crossing the border without valid papers. They were going to visit Minoti at Tantipara,” a source said.

Rangobala and Satyaranjan were lodged in a prison in Mekhliganj for 17 days. Later Rangobala was granted bail and allowed to stay with her daughter. She stayed with Minoti for almost 27 months after which she was brought to Cooch Behar jail on February 21 this year for a hearing.

“Satyaranjan has been in prison since 2009 and he has been sentenced to a jail term till May 30. After the February hearing, Rangobala was sentenced to a jail term till March 15. Considering her age, the court has ordered an early release,” a source said.

Under the Foreigners Act, one can face a jail term of two to eight years for entering a country without valid papers.