Police detain Afghan,Kashmiri students

A group of 35-40 students were detained by the Bandra GRP on Tuesday afternoon from the Bandra Terminus under suspicious circumstances and were taken to Bandra Railway police station for enquiry.

Written by Jaidev Hemmady | Mumbai | Published: February 11, 2009 12:56 am

Students,from Pune colleges,were on way to Jaipur for a film shoot

A group of 35-40 students were detained by the Bandra GRP on Tuesday afternoon from the Bandra Terminus under suspicious circumstances and were taken to Bandra Railway police station for enquiry.

Later,the police discovered that the students —19 Afghan nationals and rest Kashmiri youths— were studying in various colleges in Pune. They were on the way to Jaipur for the shooting of an upcoming movie Veer starring Salman Khan. Though the police claimed that they had detained the students only for the purpose of checking their credentials and to verify their identities,the students are furious about the way they have been treated. Asked about the matter,Ummed,one of the students said,“We had come down from Pune today morning to meet our coordinator and were supposed to take a train from Bandra Terminus for Jaipur in the afternoon. However,before we could leave,the police swooped in on us and took us to the police station for no reason. When we enquired with them,they replied that they wanted to check our identities as we were Kashmiris and others in the group were Afghan nationals.”

However,according to Ummed,the police were asking the same questions to them over and again on the pretext of checking the credentials. “It’s really frustrating. We patiently answered their questions. We have missed our train because of this and don’t know how long we will have to stay here,” he said.

Another student on condition of anonymity said,“It’s been so many hours. We have not eaten anything as we are not allowed to move out. Finally,our coordinator Mansoor requested the police and managed to buy food for us.”

Police Inspector Jitendra Rathod of the Bandra GRP said,“We have no intention to harass them. But we had to verify their credentials as they seemed Afghan nationals and were roaming in the Bandra Terminus station with their bags,which made the police suspicious. Moreover,some of the Afghan nationals,who are students in Pune,have not brought their passports. We cannot afford to take any chances and have to do a thorough check. We have even sought help from the special branch. We have asked the students who are not carrying their passports to have them sent from Pune so that we can verify their identities and credentials.”

All the students,other than Afghan nationals,who did not have their passports with them at the time were finally allowed to leave at 6:25 pm.

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