The woman was allegedly molested by an officer of the FRRO
The Italian woman who was allegedly molested by an officer with the Foreigner Regional Registration Office (FRRO) here, fears that she will never be able to leave India as she has not been given an exit permit.
The woman, who was hired as a pastry chef by a firm here, was allegedly cheated of her salary. She also suffered grievous injuries in an auto rickshaw accident. Besides having little money to sustain herself and her 30-month-old infant, she also fears that she will never be able to leave the country.
According to her contract, the woman said, she was promised a monthly salary of Rs. 45,000 for 10 months, airfare from Italy to Bangalore, accommodation and statutory insurance, when she was offered the job.
“But when I reached here, they [the firm] deducted the flight ticket amount from my salary and started deducting house rent as well. The economy back home is in tatters, so I had no option but to continue working,” she said.
The Indian consulate in Milan gave her a work visa for one year, but the FFRO gave her a three-month work permit, she stated. By the time her dues were settled, she had overstayed her work permit.
“I wanted to leave in April when my term ended but my employer had not paid me my dues. I had no money to buy a flight ticket,” she said, adding that she has been unable to negotiate with “the bureaucracy and corruption at the FFRO.”
She discovered that her employer had not provided for insurance when she met with an accident. Borrowing money from friends, she booked a return ticket to Italy for November 12, after doing a few odd jobs. She also booked an online appointment with the FRRO for November 7 for an exit permit.
“The FRRO asked for some documents that I did not have. So, they asked me to come back on November 8. On November 8, they said they cannot process my application for an exit permit as they were shifting office from Indiranagar to Shantinagar. I was asked to come on November 11. On that day, they said their computers were not working. I missed my flight and lost Rs. 30,000,” the woman claimed.
She alleged that the FRRO official, whom she agreed to meet, demanded a bribe of Rs. 44,000 and then molested her in the presence of her baby when she said she had no money.
DCP (Intelligence) Ganesh Kumar, who heads the FRRO, said he had nothing to do with the case and only Union Home Ministry can respond to that.
The article has been edited to incorporate the following correction:
A sentence in “Italian woman not given exit permit” (Dec. 15, 2013) read: “The FRRO asked for some documents that I [the Italian woman] did not have. So, they asked me to come back on November 8. On December 8, they said they cannot process my application …” It should have been November 8.