The Bijnor police on Monday arrested a 45-year-old Bangladeshi national for allegedly living in India illegally for the past two decades. Shobha Rani was questioned by various security agencies and then booked under the Foreigners’ Act and Passport Act, they said.
The incident came to light when a policeman visited Shobha’s house in Bijnor’s Kaharan area last week for verification as she had applied for a passport. She is married to a local resident and has a 15-year-old daughter, police said.
“The police officer who visited her house for verification was informed by local residents that she is a native of Bangladesh and used to regularly visit the country. After collecting more information, police questioned Shobha Rani today,” Station House Officer (SHO) of Dhampur police station Shakti Singh said Monday.
“Several different agencies reached the police station and questioned Shobha Rani at length. She admitted that she is a native of Bangladesh and came to India two decades ago. Shobha also said that she used to visit Bangladesh often to meet her parents living in Jashore district,” the SHO added.
On Monday, Shobha was produced before a local court of Bijnor, which sent her to judicial custody. SHO Singh said, “The Passport Act was invoked against her because she had mentioned false details in her application. Shobha’s husband Bal Swaroop, who works at a shop in the district, told us he was not aware that his wife is a Bangladesh national.”
A police officer said the accused had told police that around a year ago, she was stopped by security officials at the border. “Shobha claims that she paid Rs 10,000 to a man who helped her cross the border. After returning home, Shobha decided to apply for a passport on the basis of her Aadhaar card,” said a police officer. Shobha further told officials that an elderly woman who used to stay near her house in Bangladesh had brought her to Bijnor via Kolkata for work, police said. She stayed in Kolkata for a few months and had later shifted to Bijnor. “Shobha said the elderly woman had gotten her married to Bal Swaroop,” an officer said.