BJP MP arrrested at airport
Babubhai Katara was arrested at Delhi’s international airport on Wednesday morning after he tried to take a woman to Canada on his wife's diplomatic passport, police said.Updated: Apr 24, 2007, 01:34 IST
Babubhai Katara, a 46-year-old tribal BJP MP from Gujarat, was arrested at Delhi’s international airport Wednesday morning after he tried to take a woman to Canada on his wife's diplomatic passport, police said.
Police suspected human trafficking for monetary gains but a red-faced BJP suspended him from the party while pledging “severest exemplary action” against him to contain the damage in the course of the UP polls.
BJP chief Rajnath Singh called for details of his arrest, indicating that he would be expelled from the party after disciplinary proceedings.
Police said Katara was accompanied by a woman named Paramjeet Kaur and Amarjeet 16 who were were posing as his wife Sharadaben and son Rajesh. They were about to about to board Air India flight 187 to Toronto.
Katara, who represents Dahod in the Lok Sabha, was detained by immigration officials for questioning and later handed them over to the police. Air India staff were the first to notice photographs in the passports did not match the passengers. They informed immigration officials, who detained the three including the MP.
Police said Katara's aide had struck a deal with an "agent" for Rs 30 lakh, of which Rs 15 lakh had already been paid, for taking the woman and the boy to Toronto as the MP’s wife and son. A person named Sandhu is said to have acted as an intermediary between the MP's secretary Rajendra and Paramjeet, who hails from Punjab.
Katara, who represents Dahod in the Lok Sabha, was second time MP. The BJP acted fast to check damage to the party’s image at the time of the polls in UP. In 205, Parliament expelled 11 members — 10 from the Lok Sabha and one from the Rajya Sabha — for the “cash on query” scam. Of them, six belonged to the BJP.