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Papers kill 23-yr-old?s dream

india Updated: Oct 15, 2006 19:34 IST
Ashok Das

Twenty-three-year-old Mohammed Shafiq's dream of acquiring an American business degree crashed soon after take-off - his "profile and papers" let him down.

The Hyderabad city police arrested Shafiq soon after he was deported from London on Tuesday for not possessing "proper travel documents". North Zone deputy commissioner of police Shikha Goel said Shafiq was detained under section 41 A of the Criminal Procedure Code on ground of "reasonable suspicion".

He was produced before a magistrate on Thursday and released on bail. "His passport and visa are valid, but we are not satisfied with his reasons for going to the US for higher studies. His academic certificates are also doubtful," the DCP said.

She said Shafiq could produce only Class X (SSC) certificates though he was going to New York to join an MBA programme at the Johnson and Wales University in Rhodes Island. He was detained by immigration officials at the Heathrow airport in London.
The police said Shafiq was earlier involved in a criminal case in Hyderabad. In 2004, the police had registered a case against him at the Malakpet police station for allegedly threatening Congress MLA Malreddy Ranga Reddy over telephone after a Gujarat police team shot dead one Mujahid Salim Islahi near the DGP's office in the city, when a mob tried to set free Maulana Naseruddin, arrested in connection with the Haren Pandya murder case.

A non-bailable warrant was issued against Shafiq and he was arrested in 2005. But he moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court and secured an order to keep the "case in abeyance". Subsequently, he went to Dubai and returned last October - and went back again this February. Shafiq worked as a marketing executive in a trading company and stayed with his elder brother in Dubai - from where he applied for an MBA programme at the Johnson and Wales University in the US. He secured a student visa from the US consulate. Shafiq claimed to be a commerce (B.Com) graduate from Osmania University.
Last week, he boarded a flight for the United States, but was detained by immigration officials at the Heathrow airport in London.

The officials deported him to Mumbai for not possessing the required documents - and after he threatened to commit suicide if they did not allow him to proceed to the US. From Mumbai, he was sent back to Hyderabad. Tipped off by the intelligence about his arrival, the Hyderabad police took him into custody from the Begumpet airport on Tuesday night.

The police are probing his possible links with a local Muslim group - Darsgah-e-Jehad-Shahadat (DJS) - since his family's residence is located in front of the house of DJS chief Mahboob Ali at Saidabad in the Old City. Narrating his plight to the media on Wednesday before his formal arrest, Shafiq said he had a US student visa and was travelling from Dubai to New York through London. "I had applied for an American student visa for my MBA. I boarded the Atlantic Virgin flight from Dubai on August 25 to Heathrow for a connecting flight to the US. Soon after the plane touched down at London, three marshals dragged me away. They were looking at Asians suspiciously," he recalled. Shafiq said the British immigration officials checked his baggage and wanted to know why he was interested in going to the United States when his parents were in Hyderabad. He was detained in London for three days. Shafiq has since stubbed out his American dream.