Pakistani man arrested for buying land in India

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New Delhi, Sept 5: A Pakistani national in his 70s who has been extending his Indian visa for decades has been arrested here on charges of buying land in violation of law, police said Thursday.

Mohammad Idrees was taken into custody in Nahal village where he had been living with his wife and where his family possessed movable and immovable assets including land.

And although a foreigner, he managed to get for himself an Indian voter identity card. His two daughters, born in India, are married to Indian citizens in Delhi.

Idrees told police that he was born in undivided India in the 1940s. He was five or six years old when his father, Nazar Mohammad, took him to newly-formed Pakistan in 1947.

Idrees returned to India on a Pakistani passport when he was 18 years old, he told police.

His relatives returned to him his ancestral farmland which he began cultivating unaware of laws as he was uneducated, police quoted him as saying.

About 30 years ago, he was deported to Pakistan but returned on a valid visa. He kept getting regular extensions to stay in India.

His latest application for extension of visa was pending with the home department, Idrees told police.

"Being a Pakistani he can't buy property but he bought agricultural land. When he came to know about the law, he transferred the property in the name of his children. He obtained a voter ID during his nearly 60 years of stay in India. So he has been arrested," said police officer Shiv Singh.

"He is entitled to stay but his fault is he bought property in violation of rules," the officer added.


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