JLF: Pak Students Say They Were Made to Run Around

A group of Pakistani students and teachers today created a flutter at the Jaipur Literary Festival here when they complained that they were made to run from pillar to post due to bureaucratic hurdles that eventually delayed their attendance.

The group of five, three students and two faculty members, from Lahore narrated their ordeal at an interactive session today during an evening talk on cultural aspects of South East Asia.

The group claimed it was forced to make a trip to Delhi from Jaipur allegedly at the instance of officials of the Foreign Registration Office (FRO) for registration in the national capital which was their first destination.

A member of the group said they arrived in Attari by road on January 24 only to hear that their train from Amritsar to Jaipur was cancelled. Later they reached Jaipur via Delhi by road.

"We reached Jaipur at 8 am on January 25 and went straight to the Foreign Registration Office (FRO). They asked us to go back to Delhi and get registered," Yaqoob Khan Bangash, Chairperson of Department of History of Forman Christian College, said.

He claimed in Delhi, a senior police official A S Cheema told them that the FRO officials in Jaipur could have well registered them. "He asked us to write a complaint letter, which we did and submitted it to Mr Cheema," said Bangash.

Cheema was not available for comments.

However, Foreign Registry Officer Pradyuman Sharma told PTI that according to the rule, a foreign national has to get registered at the first destination mentioned on their documents, while denying information about the case.

"I am not aware about this specific group of people you are talking about. However, if they were sent back to Delhi this would be the only reason," Sharma said.

DCP, (South) Jaipur Don K Jose told PTI that his office did not deal with such cases.

After a day's stay in Delhi, the group reached Jaipur yesterday and attended the festival only today. Their attendance at the festival was delayed by three days.

"Today when we arrived we were asked to register both at the FRRO and the local police station in Bidyapuri. At 3 pm we actually got to the festival. And now, only a day and a half is left," the members said.

They said it was very important for students to come here as they are organising a literature fest in Lahore.

"These people came here to see what is happening here and learn," the professor said.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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