The murder of Bangladeshi immigrant Laija, 30, by her husband Abdul alias Lotan Khan, 38, has prompted the police to crack down on illegal migrants from Bangladesh living in and around Mumbai and Thane.
Anil Tamaycheker, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Government Railway Police, told HT on Friday that the Thane rural police have begun a survey to identify the illegal Bangladeshi nationals living in the area. As per unofficial estimates, close to one lakh such residents live between Mira Road and Virar.
Lotan was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly strangulating his wife Laija and dumping her body in a local train on April 25. He and his family members, who aided him in the murder, will also be booked for illegally staying in India.
Tamaycheker said Lotan’s father, Kudus Khan, said they sneaked into India five months ago and settled at a construction site in Nallasopara working as daily-wage labourers. “But we are not buying into his claims. We suspect they have been living in Nallasopara for much longer,” he said, adding that since no one in the family has any valid document to prove their nationality or proof of residence, they would be booked under the Passport Act. “The accused will be deported to their parent country once the trial is over and they undergo the conviction, if any,” he said.
The Mumbai crime branch, which arrested Lotan from Kolkata as he tried to flee to Bangladesh, have discovered that a notorious human trafficker identified as Majnoo helped Lotan.
Majnoo is an agent who helps Bangladeshis illegally settle in Mumbai and engages them in construction work across the city. He also helps them return to their country when required.
Senior inspector Rakesh Sharma from the crime branch said Majnoo helped Lotan after the police began hunting for Laija’s killer. Majnoo is said to have charged Lotan’s father Rs 2,000 for sending his son to Kolkata. Sharma said Majnoo had arranged his escape into Bangladesh through two pointsmen in Kolkata, Mulla and Jehangir. The duo are old hands in the illegal immigration business and charge between Rs 1,500 and Rs 6,000 for individual trafficking.
“Though the border is fenced, these two agents heavily bribe security personnel on both sides of the border who then ensure safe passage to the illegal immigrants,” Sharma said, adding that efforts are on to catch Majnoo.