South Asian Film Festival likely to rewrite an alien's script | entertainment | Hindustan Times
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South Asian Film Festival likely to rewrite an alien's script

entertainment Updated: Jun 26, 2009 16:21 IST
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The South Asian Film Festival (SAFF) may well live up to its theme 'Dissolving Boundaries' if 25-year-old Ali Khan finds his way back home to the Shatkhira district of Bangladesh.

Khan, who was arrested for illegally staying in India in 2007, is languishing at the Goa Police Foreigners' Branch (FB) for nearly a year now, with his deportation proceedings lost in bureaucratic wrangles.

However, SAFF, which opens Friday and is expected to screen about half a dozen Bangladeshi films in Goa, may yet be the unlikely catalyst to Khan's freedom and a trip back home.

Bangladesh High Commission first secretary Shaikh Asif Rehman said if the Goa Police write directly to the country's diplomatic mission in Delhi, Khan's deportation procedures could be "considerably expedited".

"Sometimes, when the police write through the state home ministry, processing such cases take a long time. If they formally intimate us along with their home ministry we could work this case faster," Rehman, who is in Goa as an invitee of the organisers, told IANS.

"Generally in smaller distant places we are not aware of such unfortunate cases. We have some deportation cases in Mumbai which we are pursuing," he added.

In December last year, Khan had told IANS that he had been a part of a group of Bangladeshis who had been trafficked into India through the porous West Bengal border from Shatkhira district located in south west Bangladesh.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (FB) Rina Torcato said Khan has already served a sentence for illegal stay in India and was presently in informal custody of the FB until deportation formalities are completed.

The four film festival from June 26-29 is organised by the South Asia Foundation. It positions itself "as one of the very few festivals designed for a larger socio-cultural and political cause".