They had plans to sight see and work as junior film artistes with Salman Khan.
Instead, post 26/11 in panic-hit Mumbai, a group of 34 students ended up being detained by the police for nearly six hours at Bandra Railway police station on Tuesday.
The students, all between 20 and 22 years, included 18 Afghans, one Yemeni and 15 Kashmiris. All studying in Pune, the group was to board the 12.55 Mumbai-Jaipur Garib Rath Express.
“Around noon, the Railway control room got an anonymous call that 12-15 ‘suspicious-looking youths with large bags’ were waiting for a train at Bandra Terminus,” said Police Inspector Jitendra Rathod of Bandra Railway police station.
“Nine of them did not possess any documents. They said they had left their passports in their hostels in Pune, but the same were produced by evening, after which we let them go,” said Rathod.
“We checked with the Special Branch (Pune) about their passport and visa registration numbers; they were all genuine,” said Rathod.
“The police just wanted to harass us. They (the students) were not militants,” said the group’s tour organiser, Imran Zahil (30), a Bandra resident.
Admitting that eight of the students did not possess their passports at the time, Zahil said the entire group should not have been detained.
“Those without passports had been called up at the last minute. They came straight from another shoot in Karjat and did not have time to go home,” he said, adding that the shooting schedule in Rajasthan had gone haywire. “The director was angry, but there was nothing I could do.”