Bengaluru

Police detain 20 Africans for overstaying

Police found counterfeit currency of Indian rupees, US dollars and UK pound sterling in one of the houses.

Police found counterfeit currency of Indian rupees, US dollars and UK pound sterling in one of the houses.   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

As many as 120 policemen conducted a special drive in north east Bengaluru on Tuesday morning against nationals from African countries who were allegedly residing in the city even though their visas had expired. Twenty persons were detained for staying in the country without valid documents. The police also seized a cache of counterfeit currency from a house, which led to the arrest of three persons.

The special drive involved raids on 34 houses in Hennur, Bagalur, Kothanur and Sampigehalli police station limits. According to the police, there were several complaints by residents alleging harassment by foreign nationals.

“This was taken up seriously by the CCB and a special drive was taken up,” said the CCB in a press release. A total of 34 houses were searched and travel documents of 85 African nationals were verified.

This has raised a few questions from human rights activists.

“The police are well within their legal right to ask and check the travel documents of any foreign national. But given the nature of tension between local residents and people from Africa in most neighbourhoods, the police need to be cautious and ensure that their actions do not turn into targeting the community,” said senior human rights advocate B.T. Venkatesh. He added that there was no clarity on how the police could search houses in the absence of specific cases against the occupants.

A senior CCB official said that during the drive, they did not indiscriminately check for travel documents or raid houses. “Based on specific complaints about persons involved in illegal activities, extensive surveillance was conducted for over a week. The drive covered only those individuals and houses, which raised suspicion,” the official said.

He added, “At some houses, occupants took over half-an-hour to open the door, some tried fleeing. At multiple residences, we found mobile phones and SIM cards destroyed. In one house, we caught a person flushing some powder down the toilet, which we suspect is narcotics. We have recovered several laptops, which we suspect were used for cyber crime. They are being analysed.”

In one of the houses, the police found a cache of counterfeit currency of Indian rupees, US dollars and UK pound sterling. “Three persons in the house have been arrested. We are questioning them,” said a senior police official.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 8:28:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/police-detain-20-africans-for-overstaying/article32269997.ece

Next Story