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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Mumbai: Reshma Khairati Khan gives statement in ‘forged documents’ case

Additional director general of police Deven Bharti and retired police officer Deepak Phatangare are the other accused in the case.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: December 21, 2021 4:37:53 pm
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The Mumbai crime branch on Monday recorded the statement of Reshma Khairati Khan, wife of Hyder Azam Khan – the BJP Mumbai vice-president and head of its minority cell Maulana Azad Minorities Commission, in connection with the case against her for allegedly using forged documents to pass off as an Indian citizen.

Besides Reshma Khan, who is alleged to be a Bangladeshi national, additional director general of police Deven Bharti and retired police officer Deepak Phatangare are the other accused in the case.

An official confirmed that Reshma Khan’s statement was recorded in the Mumbai police commissioner’s office but refused to divulge what she had said. While the case was registered at the Malwani police station, the matter is being probed by the Mumbai crime branch.

An inquiry into this was conducted last year by DGP Sanjay Pandey, who was then the DG Home Guards, and submitted a report to the home department last October.

The report found that Reshma Khan had allegedly used fake documents to procure an Indian passport. The inquiry revealed that Reshma Khan’s antecedents had been a subject of a Mumbai Police Special Branch investigation as part of a wider probe into forged documents submitted for passports. Special Branch 2, which does the background checks of applicants for the issuing of passports, had asked Special Branch 1 to investigate the forged documents.

Special Branch 1 officer Deepak Kurulkar told Pandey in a statement recorded earlier that Devan Bharti had told him it was the instruction of a top Maharashtra BJP leader that the matter not be pursued any further.

Kurulkar said Reshma Khan was issued a birth certificate from Baduriya, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal that stated she was born there on January 1, 1989.

Accordingly, Kurulkar wrote to the district authorities in North 24 Parganas and found out that they had no record of issuing the said birth certificate.

Kurulkar, in his statement to Pandey, said he had sent a team to the police station at Malvani – where Reshma Khan resided – and asked for an FIR to be registered there.

In his statement, Kurulkar said that when he contacted the Malvani senior inspector Dipak Phatangare over the issue, the latter told him that a senior officer had asked him to not register an FIR.

Kurulkar, who retired in 2017, further went on to say: “One day, Bharti called me to meet him at his office. I went to meet him but he appeared to be leaving from his cabin. I met him in the corridor. He told me not to investigate the Reshma Khan matter and that I could face trouble if I tried to investigate it. Reshma is related to a person who occupies a big post in BJP.”

Kurulkar added that he was further told by Bharti that a senior state BJP leader had informed him about the issue and that further investigation would be carried out by the Malwani senior inspector.

The statement adds: “When I made further enquiries, I found out that Reshma Khairati Khan is the wife of BJP functionary Haji Haider Khan. At that point, the Maharashtra CM was Devendra Fadnavis. All documents related to this matter are with the Malwani police station.”

Kurulkar’s concluding remark is as follows: “A Bangladeshi woman Reshma Khan used forged documents to get an Indian passport. Despite giving written complaint and documentary proof to register an FIR against her, the then senior inspector and a senior IPS officer did not register an FIR and pressurised me to not pursue the matter any further.”

A year after Pandey’s inquiry, the crime branch registered an FIR and recorded the statement of Reshma Khan on Monday. Bharti and Phatangare have refused to comment on the matter.

Hyder Khan, the husband of Reshma Khan, said that they are exploring legal avenues and claimed the case was registered due to political pressure.

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