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Human trafficker-MP held
Katara was misusing his wife’s passport to take a Punjab woman, son to Canada
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 18
A BJP MP from Gujarat was today arrested at the international airport here along with a woman and her son, who were trying to go to Canada on the passports of his wife and son, officials said.

The 46-year-old Babubhai Khimabhai Katara, a second-time MP from the Dahot (ST) constituency, was detained following a complaint from immigration officials that he allegedly tried to escort a woman, Paramjeet Kaur, to Toronto on his wife Sharadaben Katara’s passport.

He was also trying to take Kaur’s 12-year-old son Amarjeet on his younger son Rajesh’s passport to Toronto by an Air-India flight (187) this morning, a police official said.

Air-India staff on duty first noticed that Paramjeet Kaur and Amarjeet’s photographs did not match with the passport and informed immigration officials.

As there was verbal commotion at the checking point, CISF personnel intervened and informed the local police for necessary action.

After initial questioning and investigation, the police arrested the trio on charges of impersonation, forged documents and cheating under various sections of the IPC.

Even as an internal inquiry has been ordered to ascertain as to how Paramjeet and Amarjeet cleared the immigration check at the airport without being detected, the police has informed the Lok Sabha secretariat about the arrest of the MP.

Katara, who is also a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Science and Technology and Environment and Forest, has a long association with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and was president of its Dharam Pracharak Vibhag.

PTI adds: Police sources said they suspected that Katara’s aide had struck a deal with an “agent” for Rs 30 lakh, of which Rs 15 lakh had already been paid.

During initial investigations, the name of Sandhu came to light and the police believes he is an agent who acted as an intermediary between MP’s secretary Rajendra and Paramjeet, who hails from Kapurthala in Punjab, sources said.

BJP suspends Katara

The BJP today suspended its MP Babubhai Katara in an apparent attempt to limit the damage from a scandalous episode.

Leader of opposition L.K. Advani and BJP chief Rajnath Singh ordered his suspension from the party barely hours after his arrest over charges of cheating, forgery and impersonation.

“He has been suspended from the party on the directions of the leader of the opposition and the party chief. A show-cause notice is also being sent to him,” Vijay Kumar Malhotra, deputy leader of the BJP in the Lok Sabha, said.

His suspension came after Singh, who found the charges against the Gujarat lawmaker serious, asked the party to obtain full account of what all had happened with him at the airport from official channels.

Sources said the party had also launched an internal inquiry into the whole episode that had threatened to plunge it into a new round of embarrassment, after the CD row, while being in the thick of election campaign in Uttar Pradesh.

It shows BJP character: Cong

Meanwhile, likening the case to the Monica Bedi affair, the Congress today demanded a thorough investigation into the Katara case alleging that it showed the true character of the BJP.

Replying to queries from reporters, party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said the expulsion of Katara from the Lok Sabha was just “only one aspect” as the matter was unprecedented and it indicated an immigration racket.

“This is the true face, nature and character of the BJP. There are many aspects to the case, including moral and criminal,” he said. — PTI

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Deal was struck for Rs 30 lakh
Dharmendra Joshi
Tribune News Service

Kapurthala, April 18
Paramjeet Kaur, whom Gujarat BJP MP Babubhai Katara tried to take to Toronto, belongs to Feroze Sanghowal village of Bholath sub-division in Kapurthala district.

Her sister-in-law Rajinder Kaur told The Tribune that Katara was indeed trying to sneak out Paramjeet to Toronto. She had struck a deal with agent, Joginder Singh, who lives in a nearby village, Fatehgarh Seikri. The agent had demanded Rs 30 lakh for flying her to Toronto.

She further said Paramjeet Kaur’s in-laws had paid Rs 1.1 lakh to the agent in advance about three months ago and the remaining amount was to be paid after she reached her destination.

Corroborating her statement, a former sarpanch of the village, Balkar Singh, said Paramjeet Kaur’s in-laws had paid money to the agent for taking her to Toronto with the help of Katara on his wife’s passport.

Former SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, whose Begowal village is adjacent to Feroz Sanghowal, said that Paramjeet was married about four years ago to a boy whose family was living at Tahli village in Hoshiarpur district. Paramjeet Kaur’s father Baldev Singh and mother Mohinder Kaur said her husband, Paramjeet Singh, was presently in the USA and he was to take her with him from Toronto.

The Kapurthala SSP said the police was in constant touch with the New Delhi police in connection with the case.

Meanwhile, Jalandhar Regional Passport Officer Amarjeet Singh said he was unable to say on the issue without seeing the records that whether Paramjeet Kaur had been issued a fake passport from his office or not.

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