A 9 member gang that produced fake Aadhar cards for illegal immigrants has been nabbed in Karnataka. 3 of them are Bangladeshis who illegally infiltrated Bharat and one of them has converted Rs.4 crore into Bangladeshi currency in one year through scrap dealing. One of them, a temporary employee in a city hospital, also created fake vaccination and Covid-19 negative certificates.
Recently Madanayakanahalli police of the Bengaluru Rural district had arrested one Sheikh Ismail Kitab Ali in connection with a theft. He was involved in stealing Rs.18 lakhs from an ATM kiosk Chikkagollarahatti on April 15. During the investigation police found out that he is infact a Bangladeshi national. Further investigation led to catching the gang that issued fake Aadhar cards to illegal immigrants residing in Bengaluru.
Ali had named one Syed Akoon alias Shahid Ahmed, another Bangladeshi national, as the mastermind behind the theft. Syed Akoon entered Bharat through Tripura and has been running a scrap factory in the city. Akoon is said to have amassed Rs.4 crores in the last one year alone and converted it to taka with the help of agents in Chennai, Kolkata and Punjab.
Investigation of Akoon led to the discovery of the gang that issued fake Aadhar cards using fake seals and letter heads of BBMP officials. Based on the details divulged by Akoon police nabbed Mohammed Abdul Aleem from Dhaka which led to the arrest of 7 others. Suhail Ahmed, Mohammed Idayath, Syed Mansoor, Ayesha alias Rabiya, Mohammed Ameen Sait, Isthiyak Pasha alias Medical Pasha and Rakesh, a software engineer who lost his job have been arrested.
TNIE reported a senior police officer as saying, “Rakesh was creating fake letters of gazetted officers. Pasha, a pharmacist working as a temporary employee in a BBMP hospital, claims to have created fake negative Covid, vaccination reports and seals of government officers to get the documents”. The gang created BBMP letterheads using fake seals and used them to submit documents to the Bengaluru One centers to apply for Aadhar. Illegal immigrants were charged from Rs.500 to Rs.1000 for the fake Aadhar cards.
Police have seized 92 Aadhaar enrolment forms with fake seals of BBMP health officers, 31 Aadhaar cards, 28 voter IDs, 26 fake letter-heads, 16 mobile phones, 13 PAN cards, five seals of BBMP health officers, two laptops, two printers, ATM cards and other documents from the gang members. Police are in the process of freezing 13 bank accounts across the country belonging to the gang members.
The issue gained attention as a terrorist from Jammu and Kashmir was recently arrested in Bengaluru after hiding in a mosque for years. Health Minister Araga Jnanendra lauded the Bengaluru Rural police team’s efforts in quickly nabbing the gang. Following the arrest, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) who is responsible for rural areas has written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to make changes to the address verification process for issuing Aadhaar cards.
Bengaluru police are cracking down on illegal immigrants after the gang was busted. Police suspect that many Bangladeshis have infiltrated Bharat and are living in colonies working as rag pickers. Bengaluru SP told TOI that drives are being conducted in areas where ragpickers live in large numbers to ascertain their identities. So far 7 people picked up from such settlements have been sent to detention centres and are to be deported.
Meanwhile rag pickers living in these settlements have gone to Karnataka Human Rights Commission alleging harassment by police. It is reported that nearly 120 families from West Bengal live in Hebbagodi in the outskirts of Bengaluru. These families are said to be working for BBMP at its dry waste collection centres.
Unsurprisingly, one Kaleem Ullah is the Vice President of All India Shramik Swaraj Kendra and he has revealed that over 1 lakh ‘migrants’ from West Bengal are working in Bengaluru. Such people residing in Bharat with fake documents of citizenship are living off funds collected from tax paying Bharatiyas. As the majority of illegal immigrants belong to a particular minority community, they get special treatment from the state over and above the basic amenities and benefits.