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Kabootarbaazi
Mohali singer, 28 others detained
Tribune News Service 

New Delhi/Mohali, October 11
Dolly Malkit Singh, a Punjabi singer, and her group of 28 folk artists, were detained by the Chanakyapuri police in New Delhi today for using fake papers to obtain visas for US.

Dolly is a resident of Sector 67 in Mohali. She has acted in a number of Punjabi films and have given a number of stage performances abroad.

The detentions followed a complaint by the US Embassy which said Dolly was planning to take her troupe to the US on the pretext of performing there. The documents provided by the embassy are being scrutinised by the police.

ďA complaint has been registered against the troupe on the charges of fraud and all 29 members of the group have been detained," Rajan Bhagat, spokesperson of the Delhi Police, said.

Some in the troupe are said to be close to a popular singer who is settled abroad. Unconfirmed reports also spoke of the singer's wife being known to some of the detainees.

"Investigation is on and nothing is final as yet. We haven't even arrested anyone formally. That (arrest) can only be made once we are sure of the forgery," said Bhagat.

The search for greener pastures has led many Punjabis, including well-known names, into immigration frauds and human trafficking, called kabootarbaazi. Notably, on October 2, a court in Patiala formally charged famous bhangra-pop singer Daler Mehndi and his brother in a human trafficking case registered against them in 2003. Daler and Shamsher have been charged with forgery, conspiracy and cheating. The singer was arrested by the Punjab police in October 2003 after Shamsher was named in kabootarbaazi.

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