Police preparing report on illegal Bangladeshi migrants in state
IGP, central range, which is responsible for rural, on June 11 had written to the Unique Identification Authority of India to make changes to the address verification process for issuing Aadhaar cards after busting a gang using fake stamps to create gazetted officer’s letter in Bengaluru.
The intelligence department of the Karnataka police is preparing a report on Bangladeshi citizens residing illegally in the state, an official aware of the development said on Saturday.
According to the official, a survey on the same is already underway, and the above-stated report comes close to heels after Bengaluru police busted a gang using fake stamps to create gazetted officer’s letter for making Aadhaar cards and other government documents on June 11.
The intelligence department official said that the report is being prepared with inputs from all police commissionerates, district police headquarters and the internal security division.
“The final report is yet to be completed and the final numbers are yet to be tabulated, but as per the findings, there are around 2.5 lakh illegal immigrants from Bangladesh living in the state. Out of this, close to 2 lakhs are living around Bengaluru city,” said the officer, on the condition of anonymity.
Apart from settlements on the outskirts of Bengaluru, migrants are working in the estates of Chikkamagaluru and Kodagu districts, the officer added.
“We are aware of the presence of illegal immigrants in the state, and police are taking required steps as well. But the recent arrests have shown that a large number of Bangladeshis have obtained Indian documents such as Aadhaar cards and voter identity cards. So, this report will be the first step towards the remedial action,” he said.
The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), central range, which is responsible for rural, on June 11 had written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to make changes to the address verification process for issuing Aadhaar cards after busting a gang using fake stamps to create gazetted officer’s letter in Bengaluru.
This came after a 9-member gang, including a software engineer and a pharmacist, allegedly helped illegal migrants, especially from Bangladesh, get Aadhaar cards and other citizenship-related documents by using fake stamps was busted by the police.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP), central range, Chandra Shekar, said on June 11 that the police department had written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to make changes to the address verification process for issuing Aadhaar cards after busting a gang using fake stamps to create gazetted officer’s letter in Bengaluru.
The IGP said that the nine-member gang, including a software engineer and a pharmacist, allegedly helped illegal migrants, especially from Bangladesh, get Aadhaar cards and other citizenship-related documents by using fake stamps. The arrests were made over 20 days from areas on the outskirts of Bengaluru, the IGP added.
According to the IGP, in April, ₹18 lakh was looted from an ATM in Chikkagollarahatti village under Madanayakanahalli police station limits in the city.
In this connection, police arrested Sheikh Ismail Kitab Ali from Bangladesh in Bengaluru.
During interrogation, Kitab Ali pointed at one Syed Akoon alias Shahid Ahmed, who had come to India illegally from the Tripura border, and started a scrap and plastic waste company in the city, police said.
Based on his inputs, police arrested Akoon’s son Suman Islam from Hottappanapalya under the Madanayakanahalli police station limits. Upon interrogation, he revealed that they used to get the Aadhaar card using the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) letter-head, seal and signature of the BBMP health officers.
“They used to submit the documents to the Bengaluru One Centre and obtain Aadhaar card. Their interrogation led to the arrest of Mohammed Abdul Aleem, who hails from Kulla in Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka. He used to help get illegal migrants to get Aadhaar cards using BBMP letterhead, and seal,” said IGP Chandra Shekar.
For this service, Akoon used to charge them between ₹500 and ₹1,000, police said.
Police soon arrested Suhail Ahmed, Mohammed Hidayat, Ayesha, Mohammed Amin Sait, Rakesh, Syed Mansoor and Ishtiyaq Pasha alias Medical Pasha who hails from Devara Jeevanahalli police station limits, in connection with the case.
Police said Rakesh is a software engineer who became jobless post-Covid. To make a living, he used to create fake letters of gazetted rank officers. Ishtiyaq was working as a temporary employee in a BBMP hospital, police said, adding he has confessed to creating fake Covid negative reports, fake vaccination reports and fake seals of the officers for Aadhaar cards.
The police said they have seized five seals of health officers at five BBMP hospitals, 26 fake letter-heads, 16 mobile phones, three CPUs, two laptops, two printers, 31 Aadhaar cards, 13 PAN cards, 28 voter IDs, four e-Shram cards, five driving licences, three Ayushman Bharat health cards, two ATM cards, three voter ID application form-6, 92 certificates for Aadhaar enrolment/update form with seals of BBMP medical officers from the accused. Hunt is on to trace the absconding persons, the police said.
When asked if such drives by police to identify illegal migrants would result in harassment of migrant workers, particularly from east India, Chandra Shekar said that police are acting based on evidence.
Meanwhile, activists in the city said the police, particularly in rural Bengaluru, were summoning migrant workers to produce their documents.
“In our cases, the arrests have been made after we found solid evidence, and we will be making arrests as part of the case. We are not harassing anyone, nor summoning anyone,” Chandra Shekar said
However, another officer in Bengaluru city police told HT that they have been asked to submit information on the migrant workers living in makeshift sheds in their jurisdiction.