M A I N   N E W S

Is fake I-card business flourishing?
Varinder Singh
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, May 30
Is the business of churning out fake identity cards of intelligence agencies and the media and their “sale” flourishing in Jalandhar?

Yes, this is the inference that can be drawn from the recent arrest of Gaurav Kapoor, a Jalandhar-based young resident, who has been arrested by the Hamirpur police for his “suspicious” activities during the stay of yoga guru Ramdev at Hamirpur.

The arrest of Gaurav, who travelled from Chandigarh to Shimla and from Shimla to Hamirpur along with Swami Ramdev and Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, has not only raised many an eyebrow about the security arrangements of the yoga guru, but has also left behind many important questions unanswered.

After Gaurav’s arrest, the Hamirpur police seized a fake identity card of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and two identity cards of a Chandigarh- based English newspaper and that of Divya Times, a Jalandhar-based vernacular, from Gaurav.

Interestingly, the identity card, with forged signatures, showing him to be “associated” with The Tribune as “Gaurav Kumar”, had glaring mistakes and was devoid of any official stamp. It had erroneously mentioned the Ladowali Road office (Jalandhar) of the newspaper as “BO” (branch office) along with the word “Chandigarh”.

Perhaps, while getting the poorly “copied” identity card printed from somewhere, Gaurav was not aware that the newspaper issued identity cards to all its employees from its Chandigarh office and not from Jalandhar as shown in the fake card.

The second identity card seized from him was in the name of Ajay Kapoor, with the same residential address — 2/340, Shiv Nagar, Industrial Area, Jalandhar, and was sans any stamp or signatures of the issuing authority and had an altogether different photograph affixed on it.

The media identity card was also devoid of details such as blood group or telephone numbers of the “holder”. The forged cards had details like “editorial department”, indicating that Gaurav was well-versed with the working of newspapers and their different departments.

The identity card reportedly showing Gaurav as an employee of the IB also had the same residential address and it was allegedly printed in Jalandhar. The incident has left many questions unanswered.

Firstly, was some well-oiled racket, comprising unscrupulous elements, instrumental in large-scale unauthorised printing and sale of identity cards pertaining to the media and security and intelligence agencies? Was this going on for the sake of money or was there some other deep-rooted conspiracy behind it? If so, is a thorough investigation being conducted by the Himachal Pradesh Police or the Jalandhar police to track down such elements and to unravel the truth?

Secondly, why was his identity card not checked at any point by anybody anywhere short of Hamirpur?

On the other hand, even if Gaurav managed to reach Shimla, how did he manage to board the chopper for Hamirpur along with the Himachal Chief Minister, Mr Virbhadra Singh, and Swami Ramdev, particularly as the chopper was five seater while the number of passengers was six, including Gaurav?

What made Swami Ramdev, his confidants or security officials overlook his presence in the chopper, particularly when Swami Ramdev had reportedly received threats to his life much before his arrival in Punjab? Why could Swami Ramdev not give any clear opinion about Gaurav after his arrest from Hamirpur, especially when the latter reportedly hovered around him for a couple of days during the recently concluded yoga camp at Jalandhar?


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