Durga Prasad Timsina, originally from Mai Municipality of Ilam, arrived at Kakadbhitta, Jhapa, after being released from four decades of jail life in India. He was recently released from Dum Dum Correctional Home of Kolkata, India.

The 61-year-old had been lodged in various jails including the Dum Dum Correctional Home in India without trial for 40 years. The division bench of Justice at Kolkata High Court Thottathil B Nair Radhakrishnan and Anirudra Roy had issued an order for Timsina's release.

Timsina, who arrived at Kakadbhitta at 9:15am today along with his close kin and well-wishers via road, gushed, "I can't wait to meet my mother!"

He received a warm welcome from the representatives of the Bishwa Sewa Bistar, a rescue organisation, mediapersons and relatives.

At a press conference organised in Kakadbhitta today, Timsina said that he served a torturous jail term in Indian prisons despite being innocent.

The long jail term seems to have taken physical and mental toll on him as he looks fragile. He speaks less and seems to be lost in thought.

According to Prakash Chandra Timsina, the freed prisoner' brother, the Kolkata High Court issued order for release of Timsina on the ground of mental health and has asked to appraise the court about his health condition every six months. The final verdict on Timsina's case is, however, awaited.

During the press conference, Timsina recalled his parents and siblings' names. His father's name is Champakhar and mother's name is Dhanmaya.

His brothers are named Kedar and Dharmananda, while his only sister is Pabitra.

His father and second eldest brother Kedar are no more, while his mother, youngest brother and sister were eagerly waiting for him at his home.

Durga Prasad's nickname is Deepak. At the age of 19, he had travelled to Manglabare in western part of Ilam district to sell locally produced mustard.

Thereafter, he set out for Darjeeling in India hoping to be employed. During the 1980s, the Gorkhaland Movement was reaching a crescendo.

Having heard nothing from Deepak, his family assumed that he might have died during the uprising.

Prakash Chandra said, "We assumed that he might have died in the uprising after there was no word from him and about him. We came to learn about him being alive and doing time in Indian prisons for the past 40 years through the Bengal Radio Club."

In 2013, the family had received a letter sent by Deepak Jaishi, who had been claiming that he was Durga Prasad, but the family had a trust issue over the authenticity of the letter and thought that it was sent by someone else to confuse the family. He identified himself as Deepak Jaishi in the correction home.

Jaishi's colleague Radheshyam Das from Medanipur of West Bengal was the person who first informed the public about the status and real identity of Durga Prasad. The family is thankful to Das and the Radio Club for their role in taking him out of jail.

Durga Prasad had been accused of being involved in the murder of the spouse of the house owner in Darjeeling where he had been taking shelter. It is learnt that a false case was registered with the police against him and the 'victim's family' did not follow up on the case even once.

There was no trial, and he was finally taken to Dum Dum.

The family was informed about his condition with the help of Vishwa Sewa Vistar, an organisation that helps search missing people.

A version of this article appears in the print on March 22, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.