Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Mumbai: Live bullet in Zimbabwean student's bag; says it's planted

Mumbai: A 20-year-old student from Zimbabwe was arrested at the city airport after a live bullet was allegedly found in her bag during security check at the city's international airport on Sunday.

The woman, Progress Marumbwa (20), who is in the country on a student visa to pursue studies in Punjab, claimed that the bullet had been planted in her bag.

The incident is reminiscent of actor Chrisanne Pereira's case where narcotic drugs had been planted in the Borivli resident's baggage during a trip to the Gulf.

The Zimbabwean student, who has been booked under sections of the Arms Act, told the city police that she "suspects foul play", said an officer from Sahar police station.

Marumbwa, who was to join a bachelor's degree course in 'medical laboratory science', arrived in Mumbai around 5 am and was to take a flight to Delhi and then proceed to Ludhiana. She told the police that her classes were to commence on Monday.

During the airport security check, a junior security officer, Dhiraj Shirole, spotted the bullet while screening her bag and he pointed out the matter to the senior security officer, Nilesh Gaikwad. A physical check of the bag led to the live bullet.

Her lawyer, Prabhakar Tripathi, said she was sent to police custody for a day. The lawyer told the court that the bullet was found in the upper pocket of the bag and said she was unaware how it landed there. "Nothing incriminating was found at Zimbabwe airport when she cleared security check. She is just 20 and has come on a student visa. She hails from a poor family...," the lawyer said. He claimed that she is a victim and had came to India after pooling in funds from friends and relatives which were used to pay part of her college fee and for flight tickets. "She's worried how she would arrange for the bail amount and money required to travel to Ludhiana after release," he said.

29/08/2023 Narayan Namboodiri/Times of India

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