February 10, 2009 11:43:45 pm
Has appealed to the Chinese Embassy for help,but no response yet
The case of Alimu Pilliwaldi,a Chinese tourist arrested at the Attari border on Friday for entering India without a valid visa,continues to baffle Indian security agencies. Unable to speak Hindi or English,Pilliwaldi is being held in judicial custody and has asked for assistance from the Chinese Embassy. Chinese authorities,however,have not yet responded to his appeals.
Pilliwaldi was reportedly travelling to Pakistan through the Attari border when immigration officials and the Border Security Force (BSF) detained him. Through a translator,he told police and BSF officials that he intended to visit Pakistan and had entered India through its soft border with Nepal. Pilliwaldi said that he had secured a visa for Pakistan,but not for India,in the neighbouring Himalayan state. In addition,a BSF official observed,He tried to cross through a restricted land-route that requires special permission. A police officer added,He seems to be innocent,but we will not be taking any chances and various agencies will be questioning him.
On his arrest,the local judicial magistrate ordered Pilliwaldi be immediately remanded in custody and sent to the high-security Central Jail. Jail superintendent S.P. Singh said,He asked us to contact the Chinese Embassy. We have conveyed the message of his arrest to the Embassy through the Ministry of Home Affairs. He is being kept in a separate cell,where other foreign national are also held.
A senior district officer involved in the case said,He was arrested under the Indian Passport Act (IPA) and will be tried. If convicted,he may be jailed for a couple of months. Currently,he is under week-long judicial custody and will face the courts later this week. He is free to seek help and legal assistance from his Embassy in Delhi. Though there have been instances of foreign nationals attempting to enter India through Attari without appropriate documentation in the past,border officials said that incidents involving Chinese citizens were rare.
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