BALASORE: Two Bangladeshi nationals were arrested in Balasore for allegedly faking Indian nationality to obtain passports at a camp here on Sunday. Two others, however, managed to flee before police could nab them.
The foreign nationals, identified as Sk Mofijul and Sk Riyajudin, are being interrogated. Claiming that they belonged to Kadarayan village under Singla police limits in Balasore district, they had applied for passports.
Police said both Mofijul and Riyajudin had come to the Passport Seva camp organised at Advanced Plastics Processing Technology Centre (APPTC) at Bampada on the outskirts of the coastal town for the applicants residing in Balasore, Bhadrak and Mayurbhanj districts.
The identity of the two came under scanner when camp photographer Shouvik Adhikari asked Mofijul the full form of Sk. Regional Passport Officer (RPO) Digbijoy Giri, who was present there, was taken aback as Mofijul could not able to tell his exact address and speak Odia though his village was mentioned as Kadarayan in the application.
“Since it was previously noticed that some foreigners, especially Bangladeshis, were trying to obtain passports stating this village to be their native, we suspected Mofijul could be one of them. Later, Riyajudin, who was accompanying Mofijul, was caught,” said a passport official.
Claiming that the two were clandestinely trying to obtain Indian passports for an ulterior motive, he demanded stringent action and to find out the whole group and other accused who helped them to get local address proofs.
While the two were staying in a rented house in Jaleswar, they managed to open their bank accounts in SBI at Rasgobindpur branch. Police have launched a manhunt to locate the kingpin of the racket.
Though there has been no census of Bangladeshi settlers so far, sources said the State counts over one lakh Bangladeshi migrants. Alarmingly, they have their presence in and around the missile test facilities in Balasore and Bhadrak districts.
While about 5,000 Bangladeshis are settled in Chandipur area, in Dhamra (where Abdul Kalam Island is located) their population is around 8,000.
“Cleverly, they all have managed to obtain the Indian voter ID-cards with the help of local politicians. They, besides committing crimes and posing security threats, threaten the economic condition of the local workforce,” said a police official.
IIC of Industrial Area police station Paresh Rout said both Mofijul and Riyajudin were staying in Mumbai before coming to Odisha with the help of a middleman, who had assured them to help in obtaining the passport.