The Telegraph
Saturday , May 24 , 2014
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Costly citizenship blunder

- DGP suspends cop who didn’t verify passport identities
DGP Rajeev Kumar (from right), ADG (special branch) Rezi Dungdung, IG (provisions) Anurag Gupta and senior IPS officers of special branch at the DGP Aapke Dwar programme on May 13 where the gaffe came to light

Ranchi, May 23: The case of almost granting passports to six Bangladeshi nationals in Sahebganj last June has kicked up a furore in Jharkhand, forcing DGP Rajeev Kumar to suspend a thana OC and issue an FIR against a mukhiya, both for “casually” vetting the critical identification process.

On May 13, a normal DGP Aapke Dwar videoconferencing programme at Jharkhand police headquarters in Dhurwa, Ranchi, held among police top brass, passport officials and SPs or their representatives in 24 districts on pending character verification for passport issuance, bared sensational revelations.

Regional passport officer Sanatan told Sahebganj DSP Shashi Bhushan at the videoconference that he was most unhappy over a “blunder” in June 2013 that almost gave passports to six Bangladeshis.

Apparently, Sahebganj’s Sridhar panchayat mukhiya Ganesh Kirtania had identified the Bangladeshis as Indian citizens at Radhanagar police station, Sahebganj.

OC Dwarika Ram had then hurriedly completed police verification formalities by taking Kirtania’s word for the identity of the six and not conducting a personal check.

Though the six applications were rejected in Ranchi passport office the same month, Sanatan told DSP Bhushan that the very fact that something like this had happened was a grave breach of protocol.

DGP Kumar, present at the Dhurwa police headquarters, along with ADG (special branch) Rezi Dungdung, IG (provisions) Anurag Gupta, decided to make an example of this case to stop a repeat anywhere else, including strategically located yet hinterland districts such as Sahebganj.

On May 16, an FIR was registered against Bangladeshi citizens Narayan Biswas, Swapan Mandal, Sameer Biswas, Sajan Biswas, Manik Biswas and Sukhnal Biswas, as well as mukhiya Kirtaniya for identifying them as Indians.

On May 20, OC Ram, now posted at Ranga thana, was suspended.

“The DGP has taken strong exception to the case,” a Sahebganj police officer said. “What happened was grossly irregular.”

Sahebganj SP Awadh Bihari Ram confirmed the developments.

“The action against OC Ram is a part of departmental action for dereliction of duty. The FIRs against the six Bangladeshi citizens is a part of legal action,” he said.

The present OC of Radhanagar thana Neelesh Kumar added the names of Bangladeshi citizens might not be true. “The said names were taken from the passport applications. But a probe is on to determine if they at all gave their correct names,” he said.