December 14, 2021 3:51:57 am
The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (UP ATS) has arrested 29 undocumented Bangladeshis — eight from a Sealdah-Delhi train in Kanpur, and the others in a raid at a residential building in Kolkata.
The agency on Monday claimed that during the interrogation of nine Bangladeshis arrested on October 12 investigators came to know that a person identified as Mehfuzur Rehman, 30, was facilitating the illegal entry of Bangladeshis in India and providing them Indian passports using fake documents.
The ATS said it recently received information that Rehman and another accused, identified as Ratan Mandal, were about to send eight Bangladeshis to Delhi on a Sealdah-Delhi express train.
On Sunday, the ATS arrested the eight from Kanpur railway station when the train halted there. They were taken to the ATS headquarters and during interrogation confessed that they were Bangladeshis, the agency claimed. The men were identified as Asidul Islam, Hussain Mohammad Fahad, Al Ameen Ahmed, Zaibul Islam, Jameel Ahmed, Razib Hussain, Shekhawat Khan, Allaudeen Tariq. From Delhi, the men were planning to fly to Dubai using fake passports.
“They said they entered India illegally at different time periods. They also said that Mehfuzur Rehman took Rs 1 lakh from each of them and promised to send them abroad on Indian passports carrying Hindu names,” said the police.
A police officer said, “The arrested persons called their families in Bangladesh. The families sent their original identity cards that established their nationality.” The eight also told their interrogators that Rehman used to talk to them via a WhatsApp group, the officer added.
On Sunday afternoon, UP ATS inspector Bharat Bhushan and a Kolkata Police team conducted a raid at a building in Gulshan Colony in Kolkata’s West Chowbhaga area. They arrested Rehman who, they said, is from Baghra in Bangladesh’s Munshiganj district. The police later detained 20 more people from the building. Officials claimed that none of them had valid passports or visas. Some were found to be carrying fake Indian identity cards, the police added. All of them were then brought to the Anandapur police station for interrogation, arrested, and charged under Section 14 of the Foreigners’ Act. Local residents said those arrested had been living in the apartment for more than a month.
On Monday, a court in Kolkata gave the ATS three-day transit remand to take the suspected Bangladeshis to Uttar Pradesh for questioning.
Meanwhile, Bengal BJP president Sukanto Majumdar hit out at the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government in the state over the matter. He told reporters at Tarakeswar in Hooghly district that there was a “larger conspiracy to convert West Bengal into East Pakistan”.
“The state police only came to know about the issue when the Uttar Pradesh ATS sought their help. It is only because of the UP Police that these people could be arrested,” Majumdar added.
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