While many Punjabis would not lose a chance to live abroad, some desperate ones have been resorting to illegal means to find a place abroad. But not all have been lucky — in fact, thousands of them haven’t.
Nearly 6,000 people from Doaba region and Moga district were deported from various countries in the last three years, officials said. Regional passport officer Harmanbir Singh Gill said he had come across many cases where people were sent back for forging documents of stay.
Most of the others, he said, were deported for criminal offences, continuing their stay after expiry of their passport’s validity or using fabricated documents to gain entry to the country.
Harmanbir said most of those deported had been sent back from Canada, the United States or European countries.
The regional passport office receives around 28,000 applications every month. Officials said at least 10 cases involve forged documents, mostly fake birth certificates. “Majority of the cases of fake birth certificates are from Gurdaspur,” Harmanbir said.
Harmanbir, however, said the passport office was not to blame for any of the deportations. He said passport officials while sanctioning passports made sure no forged documents were entertained.