Autistic person reunited with kin in Bangladesh years after straying into India

Updated on Feb 17, 2022 01:57 PM IST

An Indian activist managed to get in touch with the kin three years ago, hoping to send Liton Bhumij home as soon as possible, but the paperwork got delayed due to the pandemic

Liton Bhumij’s family received him at Sutarkandi along the India-Bangladesh border. (HT Photo)
Liton Bhumij’s family received him at Sutarkandi along the India-Bangladesh border. (HT Photo)
ByBiswa Kalyan Purkayastha

SILCHAR: Liton Bhumij’s family in Bangladesh had begun to lose hope of finding the 25-year-old autistic person, when an activist found him at a tea garden in Assam’s Cachar two years after he accidentally entered Indian territory in Assam in 2017.

Sujan Debroy, the activist, said his friends in Bangladesh had posted Bumiji’s pictures and details on social media. He added after finding Bumiji, he did a Facebook live to trace his family. Debroy managed to get in touch with the family three years back hoping to send Bhumij home as soon as possible. But the paperwork for the purpose got delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Bhumij was eventually sent home on Wednesday.

“It took time to communicate with the immigration officials of both the countries and suddenly the pandemic struck,” said Debroy. He said the Bangladesh High Commission completed the formalities for Bhumij’s deportation last week but it still was not easy. “He is autistic and it was difficult to convince him to go to the border for his deportation.”

Debroy said they somehow convinced him to accompany them to the Sutarkandi border, where Bhumij’s family received him.

Bhumij’s teary-eyed mother, Reena, and brother, Milon, identified him in the presence of security forces from the two countries before the deportation. She said three years back, someone showed her a video of her son in India when they had lost all hope. “I saw that my son is alive. He is different, not like others. This is why I was more worried. Few kind people from India and Bangladesh helped me to get my son back. I hope, he recognises me and stays here.”

Debroy said Bhumij was roaming around when some people informed us about him. “We have friends in Bangladesh who had posted his pictures and details on social media. After finding him I did a Facebook live and asked my friends from Bangladesh to find his family. It felt like Bajrangi Bhaijaan when so many people through social media got involved and we finally managed to send the person back,” he said, referring to Salman Khan-starrer film.

The film Bajrangi Bhaijaan’s character Shahida aka Munni from Pakistan gets left behind in India when she gets off a train as her mother falls asleep en route to a pilgrimage site. The film revolves around the struggle of the film’s main character to reunite Munni with her family.

A video of Bhumij’s reunion with his family went viral on social media. He recognised his mother but did not call her Maa and instead addressed her as his mother-in-law. He referred to his brother as a friend. The family is seen in the video laughing over it.

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