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Updated: December 27, 2009 23:04 IST

Stowaway remanded to 10 days police custody

Mohammed Iqbal
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A file photo of Moradabad resident Habib Hussain, who flew without ticket from Saudi Arabia to Jaipur while hiding in the toilet of the aircraft.
PTI A file photo of Moradabad resident Habib Hussain, who flew without ticket from Saudi Arabia to Jaipur while hiding in the toilet of the aircraft.

A 25-year-old man who sneaked onboard an Air India special Haj flight at Medina in Saudi Arabia, and travelled to Jaipur by hiding in a toilet, was remanded to police custody for 10 days by a court here on Sunday after the police registered a case of violation of the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920.

The Rajasthan police, the Research and Analysis Wing and the Military Intelligence grilled Habib Hussain, an Indian national employed with a Saudi ground handling company at Medina airport, for several hours, to know of his antecedents. The police also called his family members from their native place, Moradabad, in Uttar Pradesh.

In a major security breach, Habib got into the aircraft at Medina, hid in the toilet and later mingled among the 273 Haj pilgrims on Saturday. His presence was noticed about an hour after the flight took off and the crew members handed him over to the immigration officials at Jaipur airport after the arrival here.

Habib has told interrogators that his employers, who forcibly took away his passport, were harassing him and he had “no other alternative” to return to India. He went to Saudi Arabia six months ago, after an agent promised to get him a decent job.

However, he was sent as a loader to an agency providing services at Medina airport. He said he was also forced to take his employers’ sheep and camels for grazing.

Police sources said the investigation so far had revealed that Habib just wanted to escape from his employers and get back home. The police were waiting for his relatives to arrive and identify him.

Habib told journalists at Sanganer police station here on Sunday evening that he had “no mala fide intentions” in travelling to his own country surreptitiously.

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