Businessman 'devastated' at deportation

AN ASIAN businessman will today be thrown out of Britain and separated from his daughter after Home Office chiefs ruled he was living in Suffolk illegally.

AN ASIAN businessman will today be thrown out of Britain and separated from his daughter after Home Office chiefs ruled he was living in Suffolk illegally.

Last night, a devastated Sajjadur Chowdhury said he was resigned to leaving Sudbury but vowed to fight to return to the town he has loved from the moment he arrived from Bangladesh eight years ago.

And supporters of Mr Chowdhury - known to thousands of friends and supporters as Sam -condemned the deportation decision, claiming it was another example of the escalating crisis in the troubled Home Office.

Mr Chowdhury, who runs North Street Newsagents and the Phalki restaurant in Sudbury, has been ordered to report to Heathrow Airport this afternoon to be flown back to his native Bangladesh.

Fighting back the tears, Mr Chowdhury, 35, told the EADT: “I am devastated and my heart will always belong in Sudbury. I don't want to go back but I will respect the law and feel I have no choice.

“I am really upset but hopefully there will be a chance for me to come back in the future. I have to keep fighting and believing but at the moment my chest is shaking. I have had a lot of support from the community and I would like to thank everyone who has helped me.”

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Mr Chowdhury has now been forced to leave his teenage daughter in England and the pair shared an emotional farewell at the weekend after his six-year battle to stay in the country ended in despair.

The Home Office decision comes after a series of immigration appeals and judicial reviews after Mr Chowdhury's passport was taken away following the break-up of his marriage.

Mr Chowdhury's campaign to stay in the country was backed by more than 4,000 customers and friends who signed petitions while other supporters included town mayor Nigel Bennett, Lord Phillips and south Suffolk MP Tim Yeo, who lobbied Home Office Minister Liam Byrne.

Friend Michael Mandelstam said: “The whole thing seems diabolical - you would think the minister has some discretion and this would be used for deserving cases like Sam.

“Sam is here quite lawfully but just had the misfortune of a break-up in his marriage. But he has contributed enormously to his local community, he is law-abiding and tax paying and his case was backed by thousands of people who signed petitions and wrote letters of support. This has all been ignored.”

A Home Office spokesman said they did not comment on individual cases.

But he added: “The Government has made it clear that it will take a robust approach to removing people from the country where they have no legal right to be here.

“The Government is determined to protect the UK's immigration system and marriage laws from abuse.

“To qualify to remain in the UK on the basis of marriage to a British citizen or settled person, a person must demonstrate that the marriage is subsisting and that they intend to live permanently with their spouse.

“Reasons for removal are explained to both an individual and their representatives.

“Even where an individual seeks to frustrate removal we have made it clear that we will be robust in continuing to pursue removal.”