A Pakistani family that was not allowed to stay in any hotel in Mumbai, and had to spend the night at a railway station, is not complaining.
By declining to blame anyone for its plight, the family has nipped in the bud any controversy that some people might be mulling to create out of this issue.
“Mumbai shahar se koi shikayat nhi, na police se na public se, bas yahi shikayat hai ki room nhi mila [we have no complaint against Mumbai, nor against the police; the only grouse is that we did not get a hotel room to stay],” said Rabia, a member of the family.
After being denied a room, the Pakistani family spent the night at the Mumbai Central Railway Station.
The family is in Mumbai to take its 12-year-old ailing son visit to Haji Ali Dargah for obeisance. Apart from the boy, the group has three women and two men.
Inayat Ali, the head of the family, said hotels told them they could not allow them to stay as they don’t have Form C of the Immigration Department.
“Hotels told us that they [hotels] don’t have Form C and they would have to get that from the police,” Ali said.
The rule is that foreign nationals have to fill their details in Form C and submit that with the police within 24 hours of entering India.
According to officials of the Foreigners’ Registration Office, it is the responsibility of hotels to fill Form C about their foreign guests and submit the form with the immigration branch office.
After the 2008 Mumbai attacks, hotels in the city have become vary of accommodating strangers and foreigners, especially Pakistanis.
A few days ago, Shiv Sena opposed a book launch function of former foreign minister Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri in Mumbai. Observer Research Foundation chief Sudheendra Kulkarni, who was assisting Kasuri to organise the fucntion, was attached by Shiv Sena activists who blackened his face.