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Andhra legislator booked in human trafficking scam

A case of cheating and impersonation was filed against Lingaiah and a woman whom he allegedly sent abroad using his wife's name.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2007 05:06 IST

The Andhra Pradesh police on Thursday registered a case against Kasipeta Lingaiah, a rebel legislator of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), for his alleged involvement in the human trafficking racket.

A case of cheating and impersonation was filed against Lingaiah and a woman whom he allegedly sent abroad using his wife's name. The case has been booked under the Passport Act.

Police officers said a special investigation team was formed to probe the case and arrest Lingaiah, who went into hiding on Wednesday.

A police team was in Karimnagar district to arrest Linagaiah, who represents the Nerella constituency in that district. He is among the nine TRS legislators who revolted against party president K Chandrasekhara Rao last year.

The legislator reportedly obtained a passport from the Hyderabad Regional Passport office for a Gujarati woman named Anuradha Patel who posed as his wife Tara Devi. He had reportedly submitted a letter of recommendation from the chief minister's office to obtain the passport.

In February this year he applied to the US embassy for a visa for himself and his 'wife'. It was not yet clear if they managed to get the visas.

Regional Passport Officer Balabhaskar said police had informed him that a case of impersonation had been booked against Lingaiah. "Police had sought information about the passport and we have handed over the relevant files," he said.

He hinted that more legislators could also be involved in the racket. "We are looking into their passport records," he said but refused to divulge further details.

Allegations have been made against two to three MPs and a few legislators of the TRS during last two days. The party on Wednesday night suspended senior leader and MP A Narendra for his alleged involvement in human trafficking.

The TRS leadership alleged that Narendra had misused the diplomatic passports of two party MPs, D Ravindra Naik and T Madhusudhana Reddy.

Madhusudhana Reddy on Thursday told a news conference in Hyderabad that Narendra misused his passport and letterhead to send a man to Britain. He said he was shocked when he received a letter from the British high commission wanting to know if he was sponsoring one Mohammed Maqsood for the British visa. He claimed to have lodged a complaint with the police.

First Published: Apr 26, 2007 18:19 IST