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Diplomat meets stranded pilgrim

Mere Naleba
Thursday, April 17, 2014

A FIJIAN woman stranded in India for the past four years finally met Fiji's High Commissioner to India, Yogesh Karan on Monday.

Mr Karan confirmed the meeting and said Savita Devi, 42, who now resides in Puttaparti, was accompanied by her sister Shanti Pillay, a permanent resident in Auckland, New Zealand, and a person named Mahesh, a former Indian national now residing in New Zealand.

"Our discussion with them confirmed that in September 2013, Ms Savita had made a submission, together with our letter of support, to the Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Bangalore with the assistance of an aide," Mr Karan said.

While Ms Devi had submitted her application for an exit permit, he said she did no provide any "address proof" and because of this, her application was deemed as incomplete thus it was not processed.

After filing her application for an exit permit, Ms Devi and her aide did not follow up on it.

Mr Karan also said his office had issued a "no objection certificate" to assist Ms Devi seek endorsement from the FRRO.

"I understand that she has fully understood the procedure now and will re-submit her application today (yesterday) at the Bangalore Office with her confirmed itinerary for her departure from India," he said.

"We will also follow up with the authorities here once the application is lodged by her."

Ms Devi went on a religious pilgrim to India in 2009.

Her visa expired in 2010 and she has been stranded there since.

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