It seems a number of Pakistani nationals living in the city on long term visa (LTV) hide their nationality as they carry on with their life and business. Police said the group believed they would not get appropriate treatment in society if people knew their nationality and would also have to follow “strict rules” laid down for foreign nationals.
In the latest case, a magistrate court in Pune fined Pakistan national Kapilkumar Rohera (26), who lives in Kondhwa area of Pune, for allegedly hiding his nationality on his college documents. His father Gianchand, who lives with him, was fined too.
The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the Pune city police had filed a complaint in this connection with the Kondhwa police station.
Inspector Mahesh Joshi of the FRO (persecution cell) said: “When the Roheras approached the FRO for extension of LTV, we found that Kapilkumar had not submitted proper documents about his education. During investigation, we found he had mentioned his nationality as Indian on his college documents from Class XI to MBA.”
Kapilkumar was born in Larkana, Pakistan, on October 6, 1988. “The family had shifted to India due to certain reasons. They are living in India on LTV. We found that Kapilkumar, with the help of his father, procured a birth certificate saying he was born in Ulhasnagar, Thane. They used this birth certificate while taking admission in Class XI, BCom and also MBA at a reputed educational institute in Pune. In the admission forms, they mentioned his place of birth as Ulhasnagar and nationality as Indian, which is an offence,” added Joshi.
During the court trial, said the officer, Gianchand also submitted a letter of apology. “Judicial Magistrate (First Class) J A Kotnis passed an order in our favour. The court fined the father and son Rs 20,000 each, holding them guilty under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the CrPC,” said Joshi.
A senior police officer said Pakistan nationals here feared they would get “different treatment in society” if they stated their nationality. “The fees for foreign students are higher than what is charged from Indian nationals. So those taking admission at any college as a Pakistani national are considered foreigners and have to pay the higher fees. Also, they are looked at with suspicion and are made to follow strict rules. About the Pakistanis on LTV, there are some technical difficulties like their students have visit visas and not student visas required for education in India. The procedure for conversion of visit visa to student visa is tough. To avoid it, Rohera may have procured a fake birth certificate stating the nationality of his son as Indian. There is no problem with Roheras otherwise,” he added.
The police said an offence had also been registered against Gianchand and his daughter Ekta at the Koregaon Park police station in March this year for allegedly submitting fake residential proof for her admission in a city college.
DCP (FRO) Sanjay Patil said there were 312 Pakistani nationals currently registered with the city police. Of them, 13 are on LTV, 239 on visit visa, 29 on business visa and the remaining on medical and tourist visas. “There is no Pakistani national in Pune on employment visa,” he said. Some of those on LTV have been living in Pune for over 30 years.
“In Pune, our number is not that high. We are not organised. Most of us need Indian citizenship. It needs strong government policies and a machinery without redtape. India is the only place where a person from the minority community in Pakistan can come if there is a problem. But the relationship between India and Pakistan is not good. So when I say that I am a Pakistani, I start getting that different treatment, which hurts. We want to be known as Indian citizens,” said a Pakistani national on LTV who has been living in Pune for many years.