A 25-year-old Afghan national, travelling without ticket from Jammu to Varanasi in the Begampura Express, was arrested at the Pathankot Cantonment railway station by the Government Railway Police (GRP) on Thursday late evening.
The man, identified as Najok Mir, a resident of Badakhshana, a north-eastern province of Afghanistan that shares its boundary with northern Pakistan, initially tried to mislead GRP officials by claiming that he was a native of Rajouri in Jammu and Kashmir.
Police suspect he could have links with anti-national elements as one of two mobile phones he was carrying has been found to be stolen. An Apple laptop has also been recovered from him.
The youth entered into a scuffle with the ticket examiner, when asked to produce his ticket. The official called the GRP police. Members of GRP got suspicious when he could not give convincing answers to their questions.
The GRP took him in for questioning after he said he had been living in India since 2013 in three cities – New Delhi, Bengaluru and Bijnor (Uttar Pradesh) – but had no visa or passport on him.
In his statement to the police, the youth has claimed that on January 27, he had gone to Jammu from Haridwar to seek a job in Srinagar, but decided to head back after he was told by ‘some people’ not to visit Srinagar due to militancy.
Senior superintendent of Police RK Bakshi, who has also quizzed the accused, said, “He is fluent in English Urdu, Pashto and Hindi. We are questioning him to get more details.”
On how was the man able to live in three Indian cities for more than two years without a visa and other documents, the SSP said an investigation was on.
The GRP has booked Mir under Sections 137 (fraudulent travel without pass or ticket), 145 (causing drunkenness or nuisance in train) and 146 (obstructing railway servant in his duties) of The Railways Act.
He was presented before a local court which sent him in police remand till February 4, an official said.