Aiming at changing the fortune of his family, landless day labourer Jaminur Islam had intruded into India from Kurigram, along with his wife Almina Khatun and two children around seven years ago.
The struggling couple managed a job at a brick kiln and were passing days with a bit of hope of getting rid of their financial ordeal. They also had a third child in the meantime.
The duo saved a lion’s share of their earnings for the first five years, to ensure a better life for their five-member family once they returned home.
But their plans fell apart as Jaminur was arrested, along with his family and all the money saved, while returning to Bangladesh through the Indian border close to Hili land port in Dinajpur nearly two years ago.
Since then, Jaminur, his wife and two of their children have been incarcerated in a jail in Berhampur, India, while their elder daughter, Jasmine Khatun, was sent to a safe home in Maldaha district of West Bengal.
The story was revealed by Jasmine, 14, who was repatriated through Sonamasjid land port in Chapainawabganj on April 19, after spending 22 months in the safe home.
Jasmine was then immediately handed over to her relatives at her ancestral house in Nageswari upazila of Kurigram.
This correspondent interviewed her the next day when she said some local brokers promised her family help in returning to their native village in Kurigram.
“But as we set off for Bangladesh, the brokers forcible took away our money and tactfully handed us over to the Indian border force,” she recalled.
“Unfortunately, I could not have the scope to study despite both my parents remaining busy earning our bread.”
Desperate to have her parents and sisters repatriated, Jasmine sought help from Bangladesh government.
“I want to study now and also badly need my family with me,” she said, urging the Indian authorities to release her incarcerated family members and let them return home.
Angur Hossain, the maternal uncle of Jasmine, echoing her appeal, said he too wanted their safe return.
“I hope my sister, her husband and two children will be freed from jail and returned to us without any hassle,” he added.
When contacted, Nageswari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shankar Kumar Biswas pledged that they would do everything possible for the education of Jasmine.
The upazila administration will always remain helpful in this case, he added.