Uzbek national Djuraeva Barno, who was jailed for staying in India without valid documents, walked out free on Monday after serving 10 months of rigorous imprisonment. She plans to leave for Uzbekistan in the next few days with help from her embassy.
Djuraeva, 37, was arrested by the Misrod police on December 9 last year under section 14 of Foreigners Act. She was sentenced to jail by the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), Ajay Singh Thakur, on September 2 this year. A fine of Rs 100 was also slapped on her. The police had claimed that she entered the country illegally from Nepal and was living here since July 26, 2014.
Denying police charges, Djuraeva had pleaded she was sedated by some anti-social elements in Nepal and does not remember how she arrived in Delhi. There, she met Vikas Sarkar, a resident of Bhopal, who promised to help her and brought her to Bhopal.
After realizing that Sarkar was not keen on helping her, she then approached the police on December 7, 2014, but was unable to explain her plight as she did not know Hindi or English. She was asked to visit the district special branch of police, which in turn sent her to the police station in Misrod, where she was booked for not having valid documents, Barno had claimed earlier.
Djuraeva was 6-months pregnant when she was sent to jail on December 10, 2015. On March 6 this year, she delivered a girl in Sultania hospital. The jail officials raised her for the last few months and named her ‘Titli’.
“For me, one day passed like one month for me inside the jail. I couldn’t meet my family and friends there and used to remain very upset and tense thinking about my release. Now that I am released from the jail, I am very happy,” said Barno while talking to HT in broken Hindi.
“I just want to go home and meet my family as soon as possible,” said teary eyed Barno.
Speaking to HT, Djuraeva also said that cleanliness and food shortage were the two major issues she faced inside Bhopal Central Jail.
“I was provided only dalia and milk for seven months which I didn’t like. I also suffered skin infections inside the jail and was worried for my baby. Fortunately, she was provided proper food and clothes inside the jail,” said Djuraeva.
Talking to HT, she further added that IAS Tinoo Joshi, who was also in Bhopal Central Jail on corruption charges, helped her a lot inside the jail in providing proper food and clothing for her baby.
“She helped me a lot inside the jail and really took care of my baby. Before being released on bail, she provided nappy pads for my daughter. Many jail officials misbehaved with me and refused my pleas for proper food and clothing,” added Djuraeva.
As her daughter was born in India, questions were raised as to whether the child gets to accompany Djuraeva to Uzbekistan. Minister of external affairs, Sushma Swaraj, had assured every help to her in a tweet on September 2.
However, Barno, while speaking to HT said that she had no idea about the arrangements made by her embassy or the government.
“Till now I have no idea about the tickets and passport arrangements for my daughter. Once I reach Delhi and meet the embassy officials, I will get to know about the formalities,” she said.
28 foreign nationals in jails
Bangladeshis comprise a whopping 18 of the total 28 foreigners languishing in jails across the state.
There are four inmates from Nepal, two each from Pakistan and Nigeria and one each from South Africa and Myanmar. The Bhopal Central Jail has 15 foreign prisoners including 11 Bangladeshis. “Of the 11 Bangladeshis, 10 are convicted for dacoity. The undertrial is accused in a rape case,” Bhopal Central Jail deputy superintendent AS Sengar said. “There are two Nepalese inmates of which one is serving a life term for murder, while the other is convicted for 10 years. A Pakistani inmate is convicted for 10 years for forgery of records of court and criminal conspiracy. A Nigerian is facing trial for fraud and forgery.”
Indore Central Jail has six foreigners. Hoshangabad Central Jail, Baidhan District Jail and District Jail Balaghat have one foreign inmate each.