A BJP MP from Gujarat was on Wednesday arrested at the international airport in Delhi after he allegedly tried to take a woman and a 15-year-old boy to Canada on the diplomatic passports of his wife and son. The police are investigating human trafficking in the case.
Babubhai Katara, the 46-year-old second-term MP from Dahod, was detained by the police when he was about to board an Air India flight to Toronto in the morning. The police said Paramjeet Kaur was posing as Katara’s wife Sharadaben, and Amarjeet was impersonating Rajesh, the MP’s son. Later in the day, the BJP suspended Katara.
The fraud was detected during the hunt for the lost passport of a woman passenger.
Katara and Paramjeet had already gone past the Air India check-in counter, the immigration desk, the custom clearance and the final CISF security check.
“A woman named Simran lost her passport and officials were checking all passports,” an Air India official told HT on the condition of anonymity. “The MP's ‘wife’ was also asked for her passport and, as a matter of routine, her name. To our shock, she said Paramjeet instead of Shardaben, the name of the MP's wife. We grew suspicious and informed the immigration authorities.”
The police said immigration officials found that Paramjeet and Amarjeet did not resemble the photographs on the passports. An immigration official said Paramjeet Kaur was wearing a veil which prevented anyone from seeing her face.
A CISF official said the flight was scheduled to leave at 8.05 am “The two were detained at 7.35 a.m. while boarding was on,” he said.
“On being caught, Katara said he did not want to fly any further and wanted to go back,” said Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson, Delhi Police. “The immigration officials detained him and he was handed over to the Delhi Police.”
A case of impersonation, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy was registered at the IGI airport police station.
Attempts to contact Katara’s family members in Delhi and Dahod, Gujarat, failed.
The police said Paramjeet was believed to have paid Rs 30 lakh to Katara’s personal secretary to facilitate her move to Canada.