Responding to a petition moved by a Russian woman facing charges for illegal stay in India, the immigration authorities have said in an affidavit filed before the Gujarat High Court that her story was full of “lies” and leads to suspicion.
The 38-year old woman, Anastasiia Leonskaia, and her 18-month-old son, Maxim Michaud, are stuck in Gujarat after their exit clearance was denied by the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Ahmedabad.
Refuting her story that she came to India looking for the father of her infant son and that she would lose custody of her first born, 7-year-old daughter, to her country’s authorities, an immigration officer has told the High Court that the woman had entered the country illegally and her purported overstay “creates suspicion about her activities in the country, which requires cross verification from national security angle.” The immigration officer has said this in a detailed affidavit filed in the High Court this week in response to petitions moved by the woman, challenging the denial of her exit permission and quashing of FIR lodged against her for illegal stay.
The affidavit, filed by immigration officer Chandramani Trivendra, stated that Leonskaia has “lied” on several occasions and there are contradictions in her statements as well as documents which she has produced to back her claims. It said that the woman has three passports in different names and she has failed to give any explanation on this.
The affidavit, on the basis of ‘C’ form submitted by Orizon hotel in Valsad, stated that she stayed in the hotel from October 30, 2015 till December 19, 2018.”However, in her statement to the immigration officer, she has claimed that she entered India in October 2016 by road,” the affidavit said.
According to the affidavit, Leonskaia, visited India on October 10, 2014 and was granted exit permit on October 13, 2015 when she left India after being blacklisted for entry to India. Nearly a week later, she got another passport and again came to India on October 30, the affidavit stated.
On April 26, 2016 she went back to Russia. She tried to come to India in May that year, but was sent back from Mumbai airport. According to the affidavit, in June 2016, she obtained another passport in another name and entered India via New Delhi airport. This time she came a six-month tourist visa. She went back to Russia again from Chennai on December 16, 2016. Four days later, she again applied for a tourist visa from Colombo. On January, 6, 2017, she applied for a tourist visa from Moscow, the affidavit stated.
The immigration officials have said that based on these details, Leonskaia’s claims that she entered India on December 19, 2016 is questionable. In her petition, Leonskaia has claimed that she entered on this date via Nepal. “The petitioner at every stage has deliberately misled all the authorities as also this court in various occasions and has tried to invoke sympathy citing her one-and-a-half year old son, who is at present in India or her seven-year-old daughter, who according to her, is in Russia even though record as furnished by her indicates that her daughter was in India till May 2018,” the affidavit stated.
“Another version which emerges from the statement that she first visited India in the year 2003 for purpose of tourism… she claims to have changed her name as advised by her astrologist,” the affidavit stated. It further said that she has been visiting India since 2003 and have been to places such as Delhi, Bangalore, Agra, Mumbai, Goa and Gujarat.
Leonskaia is reported to have told the immigration officers that while in a train she met one Naresh Patel from Valsad and on his invitation, she visited and stayed in Valsad from June, 2018 till December, 2018. She has said that “her purpose to stay in Valsad was to relax as per her own claim and during her stay for the entire period in India, she was financially supported by her mother, who had paid Rs 50,000 per month, and also from the father of the baby.” The court is likely to hear the petition on February 12.