Chennai: Defying seven-tier security at Chennai airport, a 28-year-old man from West African nation Senegal, detained to be deported from city, escaped detention on Friday morning.
Immigration officials alerted the Q-Branch of state police about the incident, according to sources.
This has come as a major embarrassment to agencies undertaking the security arrangements of Chennai airport as the sensitive facility has been under seven-tier security since August 10 due to Independence Day.
The ‘stringent’ security arrangement would be there until August 22.
Sources said that Ndiaye Matar (28), a Senegalese citizen, arrived at Chennai airport from Doha by Qatar Airlines flight (QR528) at around 2.30 am.
“Passengers from West African countries would be allowed into India only if they possess a proper permit, apart from valid visa, from the ministry of external affairs. But Matar visited the country only with a tourist visa,” a source said.
As Matar’s passport and other documents raised suspicion, the immigration officials at the airport reported the incident to their higher-ups in Delhi.
“Based on the advice of Delhi office, the officials arranged for Matar's deportation on the same flight he had flown to Chennai. However, as the return flight left the city at 4 pm before they could come to a decision, the officials had no other option other than detaining him until 4 am on Saturday," the source said.
Officials lodged Matar in a room in the airport and reportedly asked the CISF personnel to keep an eye on him.
When officials returned to the detention room to provide food to Matar, they were shocked to find him missing. The officials, along with CISF, searched the entire premise in vain.
Meanwhile, CISF relinquished their responsibility as immigration officials had reportedly failed to hand Matar over to them with official communication. Although the immigration officials are yet to lodge a formal complaint with city police, they had informed, presumably, Q-Branch police about the missing Senegalese. "Q-Branch police have been searching for Matar suspecting him to a terrorist or smuggler," source said....