Monica in for passport trial | india | Hindustan Times
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Monica in for passport trial

india Updated: Oct 13, 2006 15:36 IST
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MONICA BEDI, former Bollywood actress and companion of gangster Abu Salem, was brought to Bhopal on Thursday night for a court hearing in the fake passport case scheduled for Friday.

A Hyderabad police team brought Monica over by the AP Express. She alighted at Bhopal station and was taken straight to the Central Jail.

Surrounded by women police personnel, she came out of the additional bogey attached just after the engine. Dressed in blue, Monica looked sombre and tired as she walked to the van waiting for her.

Earlier in the day, District Collector S K Mishra had issued a directive to open the jail especially at night. In view of overcrowding in the court last year, it is likely that the hearing would be conducted through video-conferencing from the jail.

Unlike last year, no senior police officials were present at the station for security on Thursday night, except Crime Branch DSP Surendra Shukla. Monica would be kept in the women’s cell, officials said. After Abu Salem and Monica were deported from Portugal, police had brought Monica to Bhopal last year to face trial.

She has recently been convicted in a similar case of passport forgery in Hyderabad and sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment.

The former actress is co-accused in the case of securing forged passports, along with Salem and his wife Samira Zamani.  Salem had got a passport in the name of Danish Beg while Samira and Monica were issued passports from Bhopal in the name of Rubina Beg and Fauzia Usman, respectively.

A case of fraud, forgery and criminal conspiracy was registered against them at Koh-e-Fiza police station in 2001 and the case was later handed over to CBI. Salem’s local contact Siraj and the latter’s brother Kabir were also named as accused.

No theatrics this time: In contrast to the high-voltage drama witnessed at her arrival last year when police made Monica get down at Itarsi railway station, wear a veil and kept her in Mahila police station that was turned into a virtual fortress, this time there were no theatrics.

But, cameramen did have a scuffle with the Andhra Pradesh police team escorting her.

The policemen were clearing way for her and in process had a heated argument and subsequently a scuffle with photographers until the local police intervened. On the last occasion Monica was brought to Bhopal, the City police had received flak for allegedly giving her special treatment.