KOLKATA/DELHI: The ministry of external affairs has made a demarche, or a formal diplomatic representation, to Canadian immigration authorities in Toronto and Ottawa expressing the Indian government’s resentment in the manner in which actress RituparnaSengupta was treated at Pearson International Airport in Toronto.
Responding to a TOI report on the harassment that the actress had been subjected to by immigration authorities, an MEA statement said Rituparna Sengupta was indeed held back at the airport by Canadian immigration and questioned about her visa.
She has come to attend the North American Bengali Association Conference. Consulate general of India in Toronto remained in touch with her throughout her ordeal. We have also made a demarche with Canadian immigration both in Toronto and Ottawa,” the statement read. Rituparna had landed in Toronto as part of the Indian contingent to the North Atlantic Bengali Conference organized by Prabasi Bangali Cultural Association. Her film ‘Mukti’ is set to be screened at the conclave. According to Rituparna, the problem cropped up because she had mistakenly applied for a visa even though she already had a B1 tourist visa that was valid till 2015.
Since I travel frequently, I had forgotten and applied for visa again. But the passport was returned and officials at Canadian embassy pointed out that I did not need a fresh visa since the earlier one was still valid,” she recalled. “The officers insisted that there was something fishy that this time, too, I had plans to work and earn in Canada. Though I pointed out that I was on a tourist visa and there was no question of a work permit, they refused to listen,” she said.