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Pak student deported from Australia on security grounds

January 09, 2012 11:56 IST

QA Melbourne-based Pakistani student was on Monday deported on security grounds after being questioned by Australian security intelligence officials over his suspect phone calls to Pakistan.

Twenty-three-year-old Salman Ghumman has been deported and is now on his way back to Pakistan, The Australian newspaper quoted the Immigration Department as saying.

Ghumman was detained last month by immigration officials after several months of questioning by Australian Security Intelligence Organisation officials over suspect phone calls made to Pakistan and why he was in Australia, the paper said.

His father Manzoor Hussain Ghumman, a retired Pakistani air force officer, was quoted by the paper as saying that the family was concerned about his son's fate if he be picked  up and questioned by Pakistani security services.

Ghumman said he feared his son had been unfairly targeted because the family had donated money to Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a banned outfit believed to be the charity arm of terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.

Ghumman, who arrived in Australia in July 2010 to study accounting at the Melbourne Institute of Technology, said he was mortified at his situation and was determined to  clear his name and return to Australia to complete an accounting degree at La Trobe University.

"They said I could appeal the decision from here but it could take more than a year and I can't stay in this detention centre. I don't want to go crazy in here," he said, adding he had spent hours trying to determine what might have triggered Australian Security Intelligence Organisation suspicions.

Department of Immigration spokesman Sandi Logan confirmed that the student had left and had boarded his flight "voluntarily" following the cancellation of his visa after questioning by ASIO.

Ghumann had been held in Maribyrnong detention centre.
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