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Home > News > Report

Monica Bedi appeals for asylum in Portugal

March 20, 2005 14:08 IST

Bollywood actress Monica Bedi has appealed for asylum in Portugal, official sources said on Sunday.

A Portuguese court is expected to rule on Bedi's asylum request in the coming weeks.

Bedi and underworld don Abu Salem, accused of masterminding the 1993 Mumbai blasts that killed over 250 people, were detained in Portugal in 2002 for using a fake passport.

Talking to journalists, Bedi expressed fear that she could be tortured in India. "People want to kill me in India." she said. They have carried out protests demanding that she be hanged, Bedi said.

"I implore the authorities to take into account that I am not Abu Salem's shadow," she told weekly newspaper Expresso.

Bedi has completed a two-year jail sentence in Portugal, but was kept in the Lisbon jail, as her extradition case was progressing.

Bedi claimed she discovered Salem's true identity only after she married him in 2000. She said Salem, who called himself Ansalan Ali, forced her to use a fake passport because he said he was on the run from the Indian mafia and he feared he would be recognised if spotted with a celebrity.

Indian officials want to interrogate Bedi as they claim she has information regarding the Mumbai blasts. However, Bedi has refuted the claim. "The Indian police should question his ex-wife, who he was married to between 1991 and 2000," she said.

Salem is also wanted in India in connection with more than 60 cases of murder, extortion and kidnapping that mainly targeted Bombay's film producers and stars.

Also read:

Abu Salem: A dossier

A meeting with Abu Salem's brother


More reports from Maharashtra
Read about: Telgi case | Mumbai blasts

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