When Delhi Police detained Pakistan High Commission staffer Mehmood Akhtar for allegedly possessing sensitive defence documents, he identified himself as Mehboob Rajput and produced an Aadhaar card bearing the name and an address in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk.
The address on the Aadhaar card — 2350, Gali Near Madari, Rodgran Mohalla, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi 110006 — is correct, except that the house is actually on G B Road, Delhi’s red light area, nearly a kilometre away.
Police sources confirmed that no Rodgran mohalla nor gali near Madari was located in Chandni Chowk.
The Indian Express tracked the address to a three-storey residential complex on G B Road, where residents had the same address on their Aadhaar cards. Eight families live there and since Thursday morning have been visited often by police.
“On Wednesday evening, a police officer, not from the local police came here. He was carrying an Aadhaar card mentioning the address of this place. But we never saw that person whose photograph was on it,” said Mohammad Anees, who works as a supplier of stapler pins. He lives there with his family.
According to Anees, the building belonged to his ancestors. Eight families live on several floors of the building and they mostly work as private employees in shops or factories. “The whole address on Akhtar’s Aadhar card was correct except for the locality, Chandni Chowk. I have never seen anybody like Akhtar around the house or lanes,” Anees said.
The Crime Branch believes Akhtar forged the Aadhaar card from a local tout in the Walled City. While being questioned, he did not reveal the exact place from where he obtained the card but he disclosed names of some people who used to assist him locally, police sources said.
“It looks like there was a big network which helped Akhtar acquire such identification, including an Aadhaar card. We believe there are several people in this network and we are working on some credible leads,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ravindra Yadav said.
The families who live at the G B Road address said they all had Aadhaar cards, which had been issued as per official procedure.
Another resident, Mohammad Asif, who lives on the third floor of the building, said: “I never saw any such person. Akhtar does not belong to any member or relative of our family. I am surprised how he got an Aadhaar card mentioning our address.”