Pune: The Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of the Pune city police has launched a hunt for foreigners living in the city illegally and has decided to blacklist those involved in anti-social activities.
The drive is being undertaken in order to deport foreigners and blacklist them so that they do not return here soon, rather than just issuing them a ‘leave India notice’.
Earlier, the police used to deport only a few people because they had to arrange tickets of the deportees and policemen had to escort them till the airport in Mumbai to make sure they have boarded the flight home. In a ‘leave India notice’, the foreigners have to buy the ticket themselves.
FRO officials said that they have also taken up the matter with the district court authorities to expedite trial of foreigners booked in various offences.
Many foreigners, especially those from Iran and Afghanistan and some African countries, who don’t want to return to their home country, commit petty offences and court arrest. Thus, they are allowed to stay here till disposal of the case, which sometimes takes many years.
According to Pune police, there are 64 foreigners facing trial in various cases, while police investigation is still going on against 27 others.
Till now, the district court has disposed 183 cases involving foreigners. Overall too, there has been a reduction in the number of foreign nationals coming to the city.
All foreigners (including foreigners of Indian origin) visiting India long-term (more than 180 days) on student, medical, research and employment visas are required to register themselves with the FRO. Every year, about 5,000 new foreigners get registered with Pune FRO and a majority of them are students.
An officer from FRO told Sakal Times, “Mostly students from Africa, Middle East and West Asian countries come here. Political instability forces them to leave their country.
Many youths also leave their native country as they have to follow strict rules in daily life, while here they get more freedom. Many of them also indulge in illegal activities like drug peddling and cheating people. As we turned the heat on them, they are shifting to other cities. Now, we are going big against those indulging in crimes and they will be blacklisted.”
DCP (FRO) Jyoti Priya Singh added, “We have also taken up the matter with the district court authorities to expedite trials of the cases wherein foreigners are accused.”