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Customs officials misplace passports, police refuse to register complaint

While Goyal, an advertiser, had gone abroad on a trip, Sukhwinder was there for 10 months on a visitor’s visa.

punjab Updated: Nov 19, 2017 13:58 IST
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Shub Karman Dhaliwal
Hindustan Times, Mohali
Custom officials,Chandigarh airport,Punjab
Rakesh of Zirakpur had landed from Dubai. Despite the letter, cops demanded an affidavit.(HT Photo)

Two men travelling back from Dubai had a harrowing experience after the customs officials misplaced their passports during verification at the Chandigarh International Airport here on Saturday.

Even police at the airport allegedly refused to register an FIR about the lost passports, making the two further run from pillar to post.

Rakesh Goyal of Zirakpur and Sukhwinder Ram of Nawanshahr had reached here on the Indigo flight at 10:30am.

While Goyal, an advertiser, had gone abroad on a trip, Sukhwinder was there for 10 months on a visitor’s visa.

“After landing and the immigration check, all male travellers were stopped by the customs officials,” said Goyal. “They took our passports and started checking our bags and luggage.”

To Goyal’s horror, once the officials finished the drill, they were unable to return his passport.

Sukhwinder, who met the same fate, said the officials instead started pinning the blame on them.

“Officials started saying that we are at fault, but after we persisted, they gave us ₹5,000 compensation for our mental agony,” he said.

A letter issued to Sukhwinder Ram, stating that his passport was misplaced after the immigration clearance at the Chandigarh airport. Rakesh Goyal got a similar letter from the customs officials. (HT Photo)

After hours of struggle, the two also managed to get it in writing that the officials had misplaced the passports.

But their ordeal was not over yet.

“We showed the letter to the cops at the airport police station, but they didn’t register our complaint,” said Goyal. “They asked us to produce an affidavit stating that our passports have been misplaced.”

Denying the allegation, station house officer (SHO) Harsimran Singh Bal said: “As the saanjh kendra falls under the Sohana police station, I called the police station there. Both the two men didn’t turn up, so we thought the matter was resolved.”

First Published: Nov 19, 2017 13:57 IST