The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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It’s no fun trying to meet PM
Bina Chowdhury and Yogita Khatwani at Chanakyapuri police station on Friday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, July 28: “We won’t be sent to jail, no'” Bina Chowdhury had asked last night, half in innocence and half in incredulity.

She has already spent a night in a police station along with her friends Yogita Khatwani (not Yogyata as was reported yesterday in the late-night confusion about the trio’s names) and Imran, after being interrogated for playing the prank of driving into the Prime Minister’s residence.

They could even end up in jail after Delhi police charged them with criminal trespass and impersonation. If convicted, they could be imprisoned for up to three years.

If yesterday Yogita, particularly, and Bina had looked ' to borrow a much-used word in Bollywood ' bindaas, they were in a shambles as they came out of Chanakyapuri police station at 7.30 this evening.

The youths, all in their early twenties, achieved freedom after being bailed against a personal bond of Rs 25,000 each and a surety of the same amount.

More bad news came from Air Sahara, where the two girls work as airhostesses, when the company announced that they had been dismissed.

“We have sacked them,” said Air Sahara president Alok Sharma.

Sahara officials said: “We do not tolerate indiscipline and drunken behaviour on or off duty.”

The medical examination report, however, said they were not drunk, as had been suggested yesterday.

The incident has triggered a debate whether the youths’ act amounted to a security breach and if the Delhi police were right in booking them.

No complaint has yet been registered with the police by the Special Protection Group responsible for the Prime Minister’s security. The Prime Minister’s Office has stuck to the explanation that the three did not get past the point where the security drill begins.

But Parliament was abuzz with the so-called security breach and the Congress party expressed concern in public.

Former SPG director Trinath Mishra concurred with the PMO explanation, saying it was not a breach as the main security ring started from the reception, from where they were sent back. He said at the most it was a case of misdemeanour.

Delhi police decided to register the case taking cognisance of a wireless message sent by the SPG to police control room to trace the black Sonata car (DL4CU006), which Yogita drove into 7 Race Course Road with Imran sitting in front with her and Bina at the back.

The three have drawn the impersonation charge since Yogita had claimed she was Manmohan Singh’s niece.

“We arrested them for using fake names to gain entry into the high-security residence,” Anand Mohan, the DCP (New Delhi), said.

As news about the adventure spread across the country, the anxious parents and relatives of Yogita and Bina, who belong to Jaipur, rushed to Delhi.

At Imran’s house in Old Delhi’s Gali Ishwar Prasad there was anxiety and disbelief as to how the AC mechanic had got caught up in this. Imran, who had looked a little out of place with the two adventurous girls, had become friendly with Yogita some months ago.

Yogita and Bina have been friends for years, their family members said. They frequented Delhi often in connection with their work and lived in the Vasant Vihar area.

Yogita bought the black Sonata from a person identified as Zahid, a resident of Chandan Hola in Delhi, three months back.

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