Mumbai Police FIR against three officers for not charging woman who used fake docs for citizenship

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The Mumbai Police earlier this week registered an FIR against three persons including Additional Director General (ADG) rank Maharashtra police officer Deven Bharti, ACP Deepak Phatangare for not booking a case against a woman who is alleged to have used fake documents to prove she was an Indian citizen.

The woman, Reshma Khan, is the third accused in the case who the police allege is a Bangladeshi national. She is the wife of Hyder Azam Khan, BJP Mumbai vice-president and head of its minority cell.

Bharti, Phatangare and Hyder did not respond to calls or messages sent by The Indian Express seeking their response on the matter.

The enquiry was conducted by the crime branch and it was on the basis of their report that the Malwani police registered an FIR in the case. The FIR has been registered on charges of forgery, cheating and common intention and sections of the Passport Act. No arrests have been made in the case.

As per the probe conducted by Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai Police, Reshma is a Bangladeshi national and used forged paperwork to prove she was an Indian national. She then later got a passport made based on these documents.

Later, Reshma’s antecedents had been a subject of a Mumbai Police Special Branch investigation as part of a wider probe into forged documents submitted for passports. Special Branch II, which does the background checks of applicants for the issuing of passports, had asked Special Branch 1 to carry out the investigation on the forged documents.

Special Branch officer Deepak Kurulkar, who conducted the probe, told the police that he wrote to the Records & Copying Sections in West Bengal to cross-check the birth certificate of Reshma Khan that had been issued from 24 Pargnas, West Bengal. Kurulkar said he was informed that there was no such record found there.

He further stated that he wrote to Malwani police – under whose jurisdiction Reshma resided – seeking an FIR be registered in the matter since the certificate provided by Reshma was not genuine.

Kurulkar, who retired in 2017, however said that the senior inspector Phatangare told him he had orders from senior IPS officer Bharti to not register an FIR. Kurulkar further added that Bharti later told him not to investigate the matter as Reshma was related to a person “who occupies a big post in BJP.”

Kurulkar had mentioned this earlier in an enquiry being conducted by current acting DGP Sanjay Pandey. Pandey had submitted a report to the state government. Recently the crime branch had been asked to conduct an investigation into these allegations. After the CIU found the allegations to be true, they approached the Malwani police to register an FIR against Reshma, Phatangare and Bharti.

Prior to this in November, NCP leader Nawab Malik had made allegations against former CM Devendra Fadnavis stating that the wife of a key political appointee during his term was a Bangladeshi.

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