Questioned By Indian Intelligence Agents

#1 Sep 24th, 2009, 18:27
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#1
Can someone please help me out on this one with any advice or similar experience? I'm not in trouble of any sort, but something is happening to me and I'm pretty sure its not a regular occurence for foreigners in India.

I was out walking to the market yesterday and was stopped by two men claiming to be from Indian Intelligence (I think it might be called Central Intelligence Division.) They wanted to know where I was from what kind of visa I had and where I was staying. I called my husband's cousin (we are staying with his family) to confirm what their business was wanting to know this personal information. As you can probably guess, I don't know much Hindi or Punjabi beyond the extreme basics.

After confirming with my husband's cousin, their questions were answered and they went on their way. It was explained to them that I am a PIO card holder as well as my children and that we have went through the necessary paperwork procedure to obtain residency here in Punjab. However, their interest in me still seems rather high because they want to come over to where I am staying and presumably ask more questions. They also want copy of passports and PIO cards.

Does anyone have an idea about what is going on here? Is this happening because of the area we are staying in-Ferozepur-which is close to the Pakistan border? Why am I getting all of this special and unexpected attention? Should I contact the American embassy at all or just go along with the whole thing and hope they eventualy go away? Could a mother with her five children be some kind of Indian national security threat?
#2 Sep 24th, 2009, 18:42
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#2
Check their identification. Check with the local cops or confirm otherwise that they are genuine.

If so, the attention is because you 'look foreign' (or not a long time resident anyway) and because you are in Ferozpur.

You could check with the US embassy and/or a lawyer, but I see no harm in giving photocopies of the Passports/PIO card to them, after you have confirmed their identities.

I would keep a photocopy of their id card with me. Depending on my mood, I may even ask them to give me something in writing that says they require photocopies from me/family.
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#3 Sep 24th, 2009, 19:06
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#3
Us foreigners are required to show our papers (passport, visa, residence permit, etc) to police, magistrate, etc (I forget the stipulated list) if required. It's never happened to me on the street, but the police guy who came to do the check for my wife's Indian passport asked to see mine too. He had my wife's passport application form with him, so I didn't have any worries about ID.

Where is the FRO that you are registered at?
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#4 Sep 24th, 2009, 22:27
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I'd second the Cap't, before you hand out document and photocopies, get their ids, get it checked in the presence of the local police or anyone well known who can verify that they are who they claim they are.

Dont ever hand out originals and if they're legit and they ask for the originals, get a lawyer or someone as witness and keep photocopies and ask for receipts.
#5 Sep 24th, 2009, 22:56
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I'd have those copies ready, so that there is no question of them taking the originals. Good to have a stack of those copies anyway, they seem to be needed so often, along with a heap of passport photos. RP/RC too.

I wouldn't be worried by this, just ready.
#6 Sep 24th, 2009, 23:01
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Could be a case of mistaken identity. They are obviously looking for someone, probably not you. No reason to worry -- just follow the advice above.
#7 Sep 25th, 2009, 03:26
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#7
Well that must have been fairly concerning for you, hopefully all these replies have reassured you somewhat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharmscharms View Post Could a mother with her five children be some kind of Indian national security threat?
Not you personally perhaps, but yes; unlikely as it may sound to some, a woman who has a number of children could easily be a serious security threat. For instance nearly half of the Tamil Tigers suicide bombers were female. Some kinds of equality are not a positive move!

Excuse me for being flippant, but in the security services, undertaking or supporting terrorist activity is not generally regarded as a reliable long term method of contraception!
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#8 Sep 25th, 2009, 09:27
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Nick, I'm registered with the local police here. That's why I'm baffled about them. Couldn't they just check with the local police?

I already have many photocopies of my passports--seems like everywhere you go here for some business matter(mobile, internet, etc.)everyone wants a copy.

So far, they haven't come to my home yet--hmmm.....--but if they do, I'll be sure to ask for some I.D.

I did have a quick thought, however, that someone, somewhere was trying to cause trouble. I'm just paranoid like that...
#9 Sep 25th, 2009, 09:42
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharmscharms View Post
I did have a quick thought, however, that someone, somewhere was trying to cause trouble. I'm just paranoid like that...
Calm down... W is no longer in office. Darth Vader is back in Wyoming or where ever. They can't use surrogates anymore, and other nasties..

Carry a cell-phone will speed dial programmed to your family, and US Embassy numbers.
#10 Sep 25th, 2009, 13:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycank View Post Calm down... W is no longer in office. Darth Vader is back in Wyoming or where ever. They can't use surrogates anymore, and other nasties..

Carry a cell-phone will speed dial programmed to your family, and US Embassy numbers.
You have no idea about my mother-in-law here. She is a bit mentally unstable and in my honest opinion, makes Darth Vader look like Little Red Riding Hood. Oh well, enough joking aside, I always make sure my family members are on quick dial.
#11 Sep 25th, 2009, 14:26
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#11


oh well... then them intelligence check-ups will be a cakewalk... i'm a guessing



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#12 Sep 25th, 2009, 14:58
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Like the others, I wouldn't be too perturbed so far; I would however and like the others demand to see some proof of that they are who they say they are; and never part with any original documents. If only to remind them that that is in fact what they have to do; so to somehow legitimize themselves.

(And if they come to see you and want to talk about things you don't particularly care to talk about, you are of course under no obligation to do so, unless presented with some court order stating that you are.

May sound obvious perhaps; but it may surprise you how these folks make it their business to get you talking about all and sundry. That is after all their business.

Just remember you are under no obligation to. This could easily start from seemingly innocent rap about your neighbor such-and-such or your colleague so-and-so, or just your general life and how are you doing and whatever, or perhaps some political interests you've had in the past or have now, or etc. (The suggestion may well even be they're on your side in such interests.) And then a common human trait is to once you get talking, you don't know how to stop. Or you may even find it impolite to just not answer. A common step after that is for you to come up with some stories instead; then when confronted with such fabrications, you'll feel forced to defend yourself.

Etc. and so on; you really don't have to feel obliged to go along in any of it. Except perhaps to show them your papers if, and only if, they can convince you they are legit. When it comes to your word, it would only hold up in a court of law anyway, so it doesn't matter what you tell some lower cop, except it may well work against you. It doesn't sound like anything like that is going on though.

Much more likely, I'd agree yours is a tricky geographical area; there could be infiltrations going on there; there may be people of all sorts of nationalities involved in such; etc. If all they want is a brief word and a look at your papers, I'd just satisfy myself they are indeed who they claim to be, and otherwise not worry too much about it.)
Last edited by machadinha; Sep 25th, 2009 at 23:26..
#13 Sep 25th, 2009, 15:07
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#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharmscharms View Post Does anyone have an idea about what is going on here? Is this happening because of the area we are staying in-Ferozepur-which is close to the Pakistan border?
Possible.

Indian 'Intelligence' agencies work in non intelligent ways. Asking them for their ID - as someone suggested above would be a nice thing to do. For they many be posers/impersonators who want to know things about you.
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#14 Sep 28th, 2009, 16:06
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#14
Have heard the following rumor:
Fraudulent FRRO papers have been found by Indian authorities, hence the double-checking.
#15 Sep 28th, 2009, 16:22
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#15
Real intel agents would never tell you that they are agents. If they want to meet with you again, accept a meeting but tell them the meeting has to take place on "neutral" terrain wich in your case could be the local police station.

See how they react.

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