The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sila Devi of US trips Paramjit back home

For the past seven years, she was in the United States (US), living and travelling in the country on a forged identity. She had gone there in 1995 to join her husband, who was working in an American firm. While in Los Angeles, she gave birth to three children.

The law finally caught up with Paramjit Kaur, 36, on Wednesday, when officials of the security control wing of the city police intercepted her at Calcutta airport. Kaur was returning to her city home with husband Tirlochan Singh and their three children when the cops rounded her up.

Deputy commissioner of police, security control, P.K. Chatterjee, said Paramjit has been arrested on charges of faking her identity in her travel documents and living in a foreign country on a forged identity.

She was taken to the airport police station and produced in court on Thursday. Tirlochan and the three children were allowed to go as there were no discrepancies in their travel documents. The children are US citizens by virtue of being “born in that country”.

Police said they had evidence to suggest that an international racket was enabling people to enter and stay in the US on forged identities for a hefty price. Indian intelligence agencies have informed Interpol and the US consulates about the racket.

Investigations revealed that Paramjit had applied for a visa at the US Consulate in Delhi in July 1995 to join her husband in New York. Deputy commissioner Chatterjee said Tirlochan had gone to the US on an H1-B visa — one with a work permit — in 1990.

“But the US Consulate had rejected her application. She got in touch with some racketeers in Delhi, who gave her original US and Canadian visas and an Indian passport,’’ a senior police officer of the security control department said.

“The only difference was that the visas and passport were in the name of a Delhi-based woman, Sila Devi, who resembled Paramjit. So, Paramjit did not have any problem in getting through the immigration counters in Delhi, Canada or the US,’’ Chatterjee added.

What has surprised cops here is the fact that Paramjit stayed and travelled all over the US with forged papers. “There, she lived and travelled as Sila Devi without a hitch,’’ the officers said.

Elaborating on how sleuths caught up with Paramjit, Chatterjee said investigations disclosed that she had decided to use her own passport while returning to India.

“Paramjit realised that travelling on a forged identity would be risky in India,’’ a detective said.

“Our officers noticed some anomalies in the passport and initially detained her for interrogation. Sleuths began to investigate and came out with the startling information about her twin identities. The woman broke down during interrogation and confessed to the cops,’’ Chatterjee said.

Paramjit and her family had flown into the city from Bangkok and planned to stay for a few days before catching a train to Delhi. “Their native town is in Kapurthala, in Punjab, but the family had shifted to Delhi for quite a few years,” Chatterjee disclosed.

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