Iranian woman alleges assault by cops at FRO

Prateek Goyal & Prathmesh Patil
Saturday, 9 June 2018

On Thursday, accompanied by one of her Indian male friends, she again went to the FRO and met ACP (Special Branch 2) Priti Tipre. She was asked to produce additional documents including rent 

Pune: A 34-year-old Iranian woman was allegedly beaten up by policewomen from the Foreigners Registration Office (FRO) of Pune city police on Thursday.

Her visa has expired and she wanted exit permit to go back to Iran. She has made several rounds of the FRO for the exit permit.

On Thursday, accompanied by one of her Indian male friends, she again went to the FRO and met ACP (Special Branch 2) Priti Tipre. She was asked to produce additional documents including rent 

“When I told them it is not mentioned on the website nor was I told about it earlier, the officers present in the ACP’s cabin started laughing and made fun of me. I took out my phone and started a video recording. Then they stopped laughing. I was doing the recording when one of the female officer asked my friend to go out. She pushed me and tried to snatch my phone. About 8 to 10 women cops dragged me inside a room and beat me up with kicks and fists. They banged my head on a television and the wall. They stopped only when another officer came there. I got the opportunity and fled from there,” she told Sakal Times.

On Thursday midnight, she went to Sassoon Hospital with her Indian friends for a medical check-up. The report shows she has several abrasion marks.

Police version
When contacted, an FRO official said, “Her visa has expired. She was not found at her residence address and we were searching for her. On Thursday she created a ruckus when asked to produce required documents. She abused and slapped our staffers and scratched the hand of one officer. We would have registered a case under section 353 (obstructing a public servant from discharging official duty) of the Indian Penal Code. But that will give her legal cover to stay here illegally.”
FRO doesn’t have ‘info’ about her

ACP Tipre said, “We don’t have information about what she was doing here for the last one year. She has changed her address. We will conduct an enquiry and then decide whether to deport her or send her back to Iran on compulsory exit. The website information is yet to be updated, hence she thought what is mentioned there are the only required documents i.e. photo, passport etc.”

Mohammad Saif of I-Care, an organisation that works to help bridge the gap between students and the police on Friday met DCP Sanjay Baviskar to get things sorted out. The Iranian Embassy has sent a student to intervene in the matter. Officials said a decision about her will be taken in the next few days.

She sought help from VC
The woman had written to the Vice Chancellor of Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) on May 9, seeking his intervention and sought an appointment. But till now she has not got any reply. In her email, she narrated her woes about the visa and her studies.

She wrote that she has studied in Pune for 6 years. She did her BA from Fergusson College with first class and her first year of MA Anthropology from SPPU. She started her masters in 2015. According to rules for student visa, after 5 years’ extension, she has to return to Iran and come back with a fresh visa. 

At the beginning of Semester 3 (August 2016) she applied for a bonafide certificate in July while in Iran but didn’t get it till August-end, so she was able to return to Savitribai Phule Pune University only in September. 

Due to lack of attendance she missed her term papers and so was marked as failed in four subjects, which she passed in the written mid-term and finals. 

In her final semester, she appeared for the mid-terms but was not allowed to appear for finals due to being late for fee payment.

Visa expired in March 2017
She said in March 2017 her visa expired. She wasn’t able to pay for the challan and get a bonafide certificate due to visa problem. Due to delay in getting visa and personal issues caused by it like money transaction difficulties, finding a place to stay, she is not able to extend her visa and finish her education as she is applying for exit visa to avoid being deported.
She said she hoped to complete her studies at SPPU. She requested the VC to issue a letter that she is an SPPU student till date, so she can refer it to the police for exit visa to go back home. 

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