Passport forgery: Police to seek remand of Bashir, aide

Bhubaneswar: The Commissionerate Police on Friday said it will seek remand of suspected Bangladeshi national Mohammad Bashir in connection with the latter’s attempt to secure passport by producing forged documents at the Regional Passport Office (RPO) here.

The police said it will also seek the remand of Bashir’s aide, who was arrested for his alleged involvement in the case.

Informing this to media, Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi said, “We will soon apply for their remand so that their modus operandi could be known.”

Meanwhile the Commissionerate Police is interrogating the other five Bangladeshis, who were held in Jajpur district in this connection and brought to Bhubaneswar yesterday. They were believed to have helped Bashir to forge the passport documents. Bashir, during questioning had taken names of these five.

“We have concrete evidence that all seven have intruded into India from Bangladesh and there is a middleman behind the whole episode. We are trying to nab him,” Bhoi said.

Asked if there is a passport racket active in Odisha, the official stated it will be too early to comment on this.

Basir was arrested yesterday after his documents found to be forged by the RPO authorities. His voter’s identity card had a number which was allotted to a woman in Jajpur district, said an official at the RPO.

The RPO officials’ suspicion grew during document verification. The doubts deepened when the applicant was unable to speak neither Odia nor Hindi. He also could not remember the residence address mentioned in his school leaving certificate (SLC) and the voter ID card

Basir’s case has left the police on tenterhooks especially after the arrest of suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abdur Rehman in last December. A special team of Delhi police had arrested Rehman from Cuttack.

Expressing concern over the rising number of Bangladesi intruders in Odisha, Bharat Rakhya Manch national secretary Anil Dheer said, “Soon we are going to release a white paper on the Bangladesi nationals in Odisha. Of the 86 towns surveyed, the foreign nationals reside in 70. In these towns there are identifiable areas, where these Bangladesis live. In Bhubanewwar alone, the Bangladesi population is more than 50 thousand.”

According to data of the Home department, currently Odisha is home to 3,987 Bangladesi nationals of which 1,649 live in Kendrapara and 1,112 in Jagatsingpur district.