A biscuit company has lodged a complaint with the South Korean embassy in New Delhi on the
denial of entry to Seoul and 'ill-treatment' meted out to
members of a team sent by it to watch a World Cup
Alleging that it appeared that Indians were not welcome
in South Korea, the Kolkata-based company demanded a thorough
probe into the whole episode.
"We would request you to arrange for a proper inquiry and inform us on the action you propose to take to make amends for
our losses and sufferings of the persons sent on the tour,"
the complaint, by Anmol Biscuits Pvt Ltd director Bimal
Chowdhury, to the Korean ambassador said.
The 10-member team, including nine winners of a sales
promotion scheme launched by the company, was taken to Seoul
on June 20 to watch the quarter-final encounter between
Germany and the United States at Ulsan the next day.
However, the team, led by the company's marketing manager,
Mrinal Sen, was denied entry by immigration officials at Seoul
airport for 'no apparent reason', the letter alleged.
"The most disturbing aspect was the ill-treatment meted
out to the members. They were put in a lock up, denied
communication with home or the Indian embassy," the letter,
copies of which have been sent to Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee, FIFA president Sepp Blatter and the External Affairs
The letter alleged that the team members were also denied
food and drinking water at Seoul airport.
"A few of them (even) got beaten up by the immigration
officials," it said.
Chowdhury said the team was finally deported to
Bangkok 'like prisoners', despite possessing valid visas, issued
by the Korean consulate in Kolkata, genuine match tickets,
given by the FIFA, and also the requisite foreign exchange.
"As it appears, Indians are not welcome guests in your
country, and if that be, why, at first instance, did your consulate
issue a visa. We could have arranged a trip to Japan instead
of Korea," the letter stated.
A copy of the letter has also been given to the honorary
South Korean Consul General in Kolkata, Rajiv Kaul.
Kaul was not available for comment.