Indian court orders authorities to compensate Durga Prasad of Ilam who spent 40 years in West Bengal jails despite being innocent

Published On: December 9, 2021 02:45 PM NPT By: Bhim Chapagain

ILAM, Dec 9: The Kolkata High Court has ordered the authorities to compensate 61-year-old Durga Prasad Timsina of Ilam who was kept in Indian jails for 40 years though he was innocent.

According to the Indian media, an order has been issued in the name of the West Bengal government to compensate him INR 500,000 (Nepali Rupees 800,000) within six weeks. A bench of Justices Rajarshi Bharadwaj and Prakash Srivastava passed the order on Wednesday.

Durga Prasad was arrested and kept in various jails in West Bengal on the charge of murdering a woman from West Bengal. He was ordered to be released by the Kolkata High Court on March 20, 2021, after learning that his case had not been heard for 40 years.

Durga Prasad, who has a mental problem, was reported by a doctor that he could only talk and behave like a 9-year-old child. The High Court had also ordered information about the health condition of Durga Prasad every six months through the Consulate General.

Gopal Timsina, nephew of Durga Prasad said he is hopeful that his uncle will get justice due to the latest court order. “We have heard that the compensation order has been issued only for the time being,” he informed Republica, adding that the family was happy with the High Court's order.

Durga Prasad, who was lodged in Dumdum Jail in Kolkata, returned to his home in Mai Municipality-10, Lumbak, Ilam the next day after his release. He asserted that he had not killed anyone. After returning home, his mental health condition deteriorated due to which Timsina was kept at the Manab Sewa Aashram in Biratnagar for about two and a half months.

"His health has not improved much, but he is reported to be improving," said Gopal. “We go to Biratnagar to visit him time and again.” The Province 1 government and Mai Municipality have also provided financial assistance for his treatment.

Durga Prasad left home in January 1981 when he was 20 years old and went missing. At that time, his house was in the then Ekatappa Village Panchayat-8, Khanguwa (now Fakphokathum Rural Municipality) but later his family moved to Lumbak. In the same year, he was jailed for murdering a woman in Darjeeling, India. In March 2021, it was discovered that he was in Dumdum prison.

Radhe Shyam Das, an Indian national who was in jail with Durga Prasad 10 years ago, had met Durga Prasad in the same condition when he reached the jail last January in another case. Das then reported on Durga Prasad's condition to the West Bengal Radio Club in India.

After receiving such news, the radio had tried to get information about his real address using various mechanisms in Nepal. The real name, address and family of Durga Prasad, whose name was mentioned as 'Deepak Joshi' in the jail and court papers, was found out later.

He didn’t even have his citizenship when he had left his home. The District Administration Office granted citizenship to Durga Prasad after he returned home.

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