Woman arrested in UP after illegally living in India for 35 years

Lucknow, Dec 7 (IANS): A 55-year-old woman in Uttar Pradesh's Bareilly seeking a passport to visit Bangladesh, has been arrested for living illegally in India since the past 35 years.

The nationality issue was exposed during the passport verification process.

Anita Devi, 55, and Mangal Sen, 60, had been living a happy married life for over three decades and have five children. Last month, Anita decided to visit her home to see her ailing mother.

Sub-inspector Rehmat Ali of Deorania police station, said, “I had suspicion over her nationality when we cross-checked details mentioned in her application form. She had mentioned her native place as Narainpur Nazran under Saharsa police station of Jessore district of Bangladesh.”

Anita Devi’s original name was Anita Das, daughter of late Keshav Das.

Ali said he informed his seniors and lodged an FIR against the woman for violation of Foreigners Act, 1946, after getting a report against her from Local Intelligence Unit.

The S-I is the complainant in the FIR lodged in the matter with Deorania police station on December 3.

The S-I mentioned in the FIR that the woman entered Indian territory through the porous India-Bangladesh border in 1988 when she was 20 years of age. She did this with the help of some human traffickers to work as domestic help and reached Bareilly while travelling through different states. She fell in love with one Mangal Sen, who worked as a labourer, and stayed back in India after marrying him, added Ali.

In the FIR, he also alleged that the woman was living illegally in India for the last 35 years. A resident of Udaipur village said Anita was a simple woman and living here for many years.

“After the arrest of the woman, the entire family -- her husband and children -- is disturbed and running from pillar to post to resolve the issue. They could not imagine her languishing in jail,” he reiterated.

A senior official of Bareilly Local Intelligence Unit said there was a set protocol in such cases to arrest illegal immigrants and alert the Intelligence Bureau about her stay in Bareilly.

Further investigation in the matter was on while legal opinion is being sought on whether Anita should be deported back to her native country despite being married to an Indian national or she be allowed to stay here if she was not found involved in any kind of illegal or anti-national activity, said Devendra Singh Dhama, inspector of Deorania police station.

Legal experts say that Article 21 of the Indian Constitution allows her to apply for Indian citizenship while she would also be covered under Commonwealth Citizenship as she was staying in India since before 2004.






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