A 22-year-old Canadian man is all set to return home after spending two weeks in a West Bengal mental hospital, allegedly due to a bureaucratic tangle, with his father obtaining a court order for his release on Thursday.
The case grabbed headlines in Canada with the family of Jackey Jaden Kolesar saying they had to run around bureaucratic circles in both countries since March 2 to get him back home.
They alleged Jaden was being kept in a mental hospital in Berhampore against his wishes and that of his doctors only because of red tape.
“I feel extremely relieved after his father Russell Kolesar came to the police station with a court order to get him released from the mental hospital,” Rajkumar Malakar, circle inspector, told HT.
Local police caught Jaden on February 26 in Krishnanagar, about 112 kms from Kolkata, without any papers such as a passport to prove his identity. The Canadian tourist came to India in February and first came to Kochi and onwards to Nadia in West Bengal after touching Pondicherry.
In Nadia, however, he lost all his documents, including his passport and money and couldn’t tell his name, age and other details to the police.
“He was produced in court by Nadia police, who brought him here. He has been admitted here for more than 15 days,” said Pabitra Sarkar, superintendent of the state-run Berhampore mental hospital. Jaden was a mental patient and was being treated accordingly, he added.
His family, however, disagreed, saying Jaden was fine with no charges against him and should be allowed to go home. They also appealed to the Canadian government to ensure his release.
“Jaden is a caring, loving young man. They didn’t want him in the jail and he had nowhere else to go. So they put him in a mental hospital, where he is being held against his will and the doctor’s will,” his stepmother told a Canadian television channel.
Police said Jaden was so angry when he was caught that he took out his belt at the station and injured five personnel. “Two of them were so badly injured they had to be hospitalised,” said Malakar.