A court in Maharashtra's Thane sentenced six Bangladeshi nationals to four-year imprisonment for illegally staying in India.
Additional Sessions Judge N H Makhare, in her order issued last week, also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on each of the accused.
Acting on a tip-off, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) unit in Thane had in March this year raided a residential building in Bhiwandi town here and found the six Bangladeshi nationals residing there without any valid passport and other document, the prosecution told the court.
The six -- Piyaro Husainali Shaikh (22), Manik Farid Shaikh (20), Farukh Saifulalam Shaikh (20), Subuji Mujid Shaikh (22), Mohammad Bilal Mohammad Mahabul Alam Shaikh (22) and Mohammad Al Amin Mohammad Yusuf Miya Islam (20) -- were arrested and booked under provisions of the Foreigners Act and the Passport Act.
The judge said the accused submitted that they entered the country in search of jobs.
"Their families are dependent on them. If they are kept behind bars then their family members will definitely face starvation. Hence, they have requested to a take lenient view," she noted.
The prosecutor, however, sought strict punishment for the accused, saying they had committed an offence by residing in the country without any valid document.
After hearing both the sides, the judge awarded four-year 'simple imprisonment' to all the accused.
The court also directed authorities concerned to take necessary steps to deport the accused to their country on the completion of their prison term.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine