I often come across stories that show how women are ill-treated in some Islamic countries. The recent one that I came across was about how a six-year-old girl was married off to a 55-year-old man in exchange for goat, cooking oil, and sugar in Afghanistan. Most of the people from these countries are habited to treat girls, women like an object and they show the same behavior when they go abroad for studies. Unfortunately, Pune attracts many such students from Afghanistan who use the city as their hunting ground. Perhaps, cops working with foreigners’ registration office in Pune would be able to share many such stories. Let’s take a look at two of the recent ones.
Girl harassed by Afghan students
According to reports, a 17-year-old girl studying in Pune’s famous Wadia College had filed a police complaint against three students from her college last month for sexually abusing her. All three of the accused are from Afghanistan.
Surprisingly, Pune police officials did not take any action against the three Afghan hooligans.
In fact, after registering the complaint, three boys started harassing her even more and also threatened her with acid attack. The same report suggests that these international students often cause nuisance in the college.
The situation is such that the victim girl’s mother accompanies her in the college every day. “These boys follow me everywhere in the college and say that they would take revenge. Their friend called Almar said they would throw acid on me to explain how it works,”-said the victim while interacting with journalists.
Initially, the girl tried to stop one of the accused named Zahir’s unwanted advances. Soon he asked his friends to join him in order to convince her. Hence, there was no other option left but to file a police complaint about the same. But the situation became worse after that and they even started following her outside the college and harassed her near her house.
After taking a break for around a week, the girl started going back to college only when her mother came from her hometown and started accompanying her.
Pune’s Koregaon Police Station is investigating the matter and investigating officer PSI Vidya Raut agreed that students from Afghanistan are often found to be troublemakers. But, Raut or her team has not taken any action against the students as of now, while writing this report.
Vidya Raut’s explanation for her inaction was surprising. She claimed that police has forwarded the complaint to the college and now it is up to the college to punish the culprits.
College’s Principal Dr. K S Vyenkatraghawan also shared his side of the story with journalists and said they have received a complaint from the victim as well as a copy of FIR from police. He also said they formed a committee to look into the case and their observation has been sent to Savitribai Phule Pune University’s International Student Centre. “There is very little that the college can do,”-said the principal.
To put it in simple words, as these are international students, police passed its responsibility to the college, and the institute’s principal further passed it to Pune University’s International Council of Cultural Relations.
How idiotic and irresponsible can police officials be? I am a journalist with just six years of experience, and not a lawyer. But, I can clearly point out that the crime has taken place within the college premises as well as outside the college. Cops can easily retrieve the CCTV footage from college as well as from places nearby the victim’s house where she was harassed on several occasions and take action like they have taken in previous cases involving foreign students.
Afghan student from Pune was deported for molesting woman in May
In May this year, a 20-year-old Afghan student Aimal Hayatullah Ehsas was deported when he molested a 37-year-old woman at a restaurant based in Pune’s Undri area. He was in Pune to study BBA and was under the influence of alcohol when he approached the woman and molested her in front of her husband. Cops checked the hotel’s CCTV footage that showed this moron indulging in the act. Police immediately deported the culprit under section 14 (a) of the Foreigners Act as per news story published in TOI.
Even in this case, the police showed leniency to the Afghan national by not registering FIR against him and blacklisting him for just two to five years. One of the police officials said on condition of anonymity that police did not register a case against the culprit as that would have enabled Ehsas to stay in India until the conclusion of the case.
Kondhwa area is famous because of its notorious elements
The point to be noted is that most of these legal and illegal visitors from certain Islamic nations prefer to stay in city’s Muslim majority Kondhwa area or in surrounding localities. Police have arrested several bomb blast suspects and accused from this area in the past. Reliable sources also suggest that most of the homeowners in this area rent their apartments only to Muslims. There are many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan residing in the area. Secular parties have even arranged ID proofs for them. Just Google “Blast suspects arrested from Kondhwa” to check the harsh reality.
City’s former Commissioner Satyapal Singh (now BJP MP) had kept a special focus on this area and foreign nationals coming from Islamic countries in the city. He was tough against international students and had even deported several Iraqi students involved in publishing radicalizing magazines from Muslim dominated areas in Pune.
Anyway, getting back to the first case, why are cops not willing to deport three Afghan students from Wadia College? They did manage to deport Ehsas in similar case?
God forbid, but who would be held responsible if the victim decides to take an extreme step? Are Pune police officials waiting for the acid attack to happen? Several Afghan and Nigerian nationals are deported by Pune police every year for their involvement in crimes, including molestation.
As far as molestation cases are concerned, Pune cops register FIR only when they find sufficient evidence to support victim’s claim. (They try to get rid of as many cases as possible without registering FIR to keep crime rate low) If you send Whatsapp message to cops, they simply ask you to come to local police station. Even in this case, I presume that PSI Raut has registered FIR after confirming certain details. Then, who is stopping them from acting against these three molesters?
To find the answer, I had approached Pune’s top cop Rashmi Shukla, but she said she does not wish to interact with journalists. Hope state’s CM Devendra Fadnavis (also holds home portfolio) finds time to ask questions to her.
Hope the EAM, state and central home ministry looks into such cases. They must ensure quick justice and deport such unwanted guests from the country. If ministers like Jaitley are too much concerned about country’s income from tourists, he can keep all of them as guests under his roof.