Nationality proof row: CISF staff didn’t ask for ID proof from Northeastern students at Taj Mahal, says official
By Our Correspondent
Agra , 11 Jan, 2017 :: TWO DAYS after 22 people, including 18 students from Northeast, were stopped from entering the Taj Mahal allegedly by security staff who demanded they produce proof of their nationality, the CISF on Tuesday clarified that none of its personnel were on duty at the monument entrance. It claimed the employees of a private agency, Super Seven Securities Private Limited — an associate of the Canara Bank that provides software and technical support for the e-ticketing system at Taj Mahal — hired by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was on duty at the entrance. The CISF authorities said the students have identified the employees involved the incident as Ashis Kumar and Sourav Singh.“Since the visitors presumed that the staff belonged to the security apparatus of Taj Mahal, they complained against the CISF. On clarification, they said the issue with CISF was amicably settled, and they only want strict action against the staff who were checking e-tickets at the gate,” said a CISF official.
On Sunday, the students in a written complaint lodged with ASI had alleged that they were mistreated by the security staff at the gate, and that they were asked to show identity proofs. The students were later allowed entry following the intervention of local police, after which they lodged a written complaint with ASI officials alleging discrimination.
The CCTV footage collected by CISF showed a group of students arriving at the gate of Taj Mahal at 3.20 pm. They were stopped at the main gate for 20 minutes by the staff and an argument ensued. The visitors are then seen walking to the CISF booth at 3.40 pm. At 3.44 pm, while six persons from the group went inside, the rest left the Taj premises.
“We returned to the Taj around 5.30 pm accompanied by the tourism police. The gates had closed by then. Hence, we could not enter,” said Anjna Rai, a student from from Sikkim. Lenmen Yosung from Imphal, another student, added: “The behaviour of the security personnel was rude and discriminatory.”