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It was a cold November afternoon at Silchar. I was busy with some official papers especially assigned to me when the Prosecution Sub-Inspector produced before me a young prisoner. The prisoner with a robust health was the member of a terrorist group of Mizoram. I asked some routine questions as is the procedure. He was arrested by police near the public bus stand at Silchar merely on suspicion. By the time he was produced before me, he had completed two years in jail without any trial. This is a serious lapse on the part of our justice delivery system. On minute perusal of the Case Diary, I found that the Mizo police were informed about the detention of the youth in Assam. But there was no response from Mizoram side. I decided to close the case and release him from jail forthwith.


As usual, I returned to my bungalow situated near the Circuit House at about six. Darkness had already descended. Few pedestrians were seen on the city roads. After sipping a cup of specially prepared hot ginger tea, I decided to relax my tired body on the sofa when somebody knocked the door. I was not expecting any guest by that time and reluctantly asked the unwanted and uninvited guest to come in. And lo! There he was. The Mizo youth whom I released from jail few hours ago. Before I could utter anything, he demanded a sum of rupees five hundred as he was penniless. Police snatched away all that was in his possession. I was all alone and my orderly went out for marketing with no probability of coming soon. I thought for a while and gave him a sum of rupees three hundred. He left the room saying he would return the money as soon as possible. Heaving a sigh of relief immediately bolted the door and relaxed. After about a month or so, I was transferred and posted at Assam Secretariat at Dispur as Deputy Secretary to the Government of Assam in the Law Department. The post involved a lot of extra work and I had to remain busy.

Sarat C.Neog

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