Afghanistan

Jalandhar hub for preparing passports on fake documents to Afghan nationals staying in India

September 04, 2014 01:40 AM

 Afhgans  were arrested from different airports while attempting to take flights to various European destinations

Jalandhar (PUNJAB), Sept. 04: Afghan nationals attempting to sneak out of India on Indian passports procured by submitting fake documents were arrested from various airports during the past few months. 

Among them include seven Hindu and Sikh Afghan refugees who were staying in staying in India on a long-term visas for nearly 20 years have been arrested by the Punjab police for committing forgery to procure Indian passports.

Three other Afghan residents, including a young woman Mandeep Kaur, were Sikhs and were held from Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai airports. "We could not apply for visa at Indian embassies on Afghan documents, so we resorted to faking documents," an arrested Afghan citizen told investigators.

where they could easily seek asylum as politically victimized for their religious identities in Afghanistan. 

 According to police during investigation it was successful in tracking 135 such passports issued to Afghan Hindus and Sikhs from the regional passport office (RPO) in Jalandhar. The police have issued lookout notices for all of them. Police officials claimed that 12 such Afghan citizens might already have left the country.

The Jalandhar police have cracked network of a mafia who arrange the fake passports. The accused — include a police head constable, stated to be under suspension — who had helped the Afghans get the passports. He  claimed that he was not aware that the applicants were from Afghanistan. On the basis of the information gathered from the arrested persons now police are looking for a Delhi-based travel agent, P K Jain, and an Afghan man, Manmeet Singh, who were instrumental in getting the Afghan residents in touch with Jalandhar-based middlemen. The middlemen arranged the forged residential proofs and other documents.

The arrested Afghan citizens disclosed during questioning that after reaching Europe, they had a plan to use their Afghan citizenship to seek political asylum. They would have claimed that they had somehow escaped from the Taliban's clutches in Afghanistan and reached there.
On July 4 four members of a Hindu family were arrested from the Bangalore airport when they were about to fly to France. The head of the family, Tek Chand — whose wife, son and daughter-in-law were also arrested — said his five brothers were already settled in France and neighbouring countries, and he wanted to join them.

Three other Afghan residents, including a young woman Mandeep Kaur, were Sikhs and were held from Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai airports. "We could not apply for visa at Indian embassies on Afghan documents, so we resorted to faking documents," an arrested Afghan citizen told investigators.

Nawanshahr DSP Sarabjit Singh, who is investigating the case, said all the applicants used forged documents to show themselves as Indian citizens residents of Nawanshahr. None of them used his or her original name. "Three of the accused completed their education in Delhi and none could suspect they were not Indian citizens," he said.

The cops are looking for those Afghans whose police verification reports were prepared by head constable Tirath Ram, who is charged with being part of a gang of six other accused. The gang is believed to have been active since 2012, until RPO officials smelt a rat in February when 10 passports sent through registered post were returned by the postal department since they could not be delivered.

Police investigations revealed Tirath Ram was taking Rs 20,000 for each police verification report for a passport. Three postmen, who are also believed to have been involved in the fraud, have been arrested. A Delhi-based agent apparently used to charge Rs 1 lakh from each applicant.

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