KASARGOD: The Bureau of Immigration under the Union Ministry of Home Affairs has accused Kasargod MLA and Indian Union Muslim League leader N A Nellikkunnu of meddling in the immigration affairs at the Mangalore International Airport.
In a report sent to the Karnataka State Intelligence, the bureau’s Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO), Bengaluru, said whenever any passenger with “emigration check required” passport was not allowed to travel abroad, the MLA “interfered through various channels.” “He (the MLA) alleges ill-treatment by immigration officials so as to gain influence among the local public in his Assembly constituency,” said the FRRO.
The report was in response to the MLA’s letters and petitions seeking explanation from the Bureau of Immigration pertaining to the offloading of two specific passengers from Kasargod - Nisar Mohammed Nayakkamvalappil on September 6, 2016, and Abdul Khader Naduveed Ebrahim on August 21, 2016.
In his reply, the FRRO said Nisar Mohammed had a tourist visa but was offloaded because he did not show his return ticket and hotel bookings in Dubai.
He said immigration officers did not offload Abdul Khader but by Air India because the date of issue and expiry on his passport were overwritten with red ink.
The FRRO said about 1,000 passengers from Kerala use Mangalore International Airport daily, out of which 65% to 70% are from a minority community.
“The question of discrimination against a particular community does not arise as the passengers are cleared without any hassle,” the report said.
Nellikkunnu said the official version was a distortion of facts and accused Prasad P V S V, the assistant director of immigration at the airport, and other officials on duty of being sadistic and rude.
“Contrary to the FRRO’s claim, Nisar had a valid tourist visa and a return ticket, the only requirements to go abroad as tourists,” he said. The guidelines of the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs do not ask for hotel bookings.
“He did not have hotel bookings because he had relatives in Dubai. No one will go to Dubai to sleep on the streets,” the MLA said.
On the charge that he was interfering in immigration matters, Nellikkunnu said he raised these two cases because they happened in a span of two weeks and there were several instances where passengers from the minority communities were discriminated against.
Terming the official’s response “unconstitutional”, the MLA said he need not take up the two cases to increase his influence in the constituency.
“In the light of the reply, I have written to Union Ministers for Home and External Affairs and Karnataka CM to investigate and book the errant officials,” he said.