Blame game on over passport to Pakistani spy

Lucknow, Nov 20 ( Policemen and passport officials here are blaming each other for a passport issued by the Regional Passport Office to suspected Pakistani spy Amir Ali, arrested in New Delhi last month.

While the police sought to give themselves a clean chit by claiming that they never gave Amir the ‘Identity and Address Verification Report’ on the basis of which the passport was issued, passport officials said they have the certificate in their records.

“Amir’s clearance report was received by us along with 26 other clearance reports from the local intelligence unit and the district police,” said a senior passport official.

The official did not rule out the possibility of policemen trying to shield their colleagues who were involved in the issue of such clearance reports.

Two people arrested in this connection and handed over to the Delhi Police were stated to be “touts” operating in the passport office here.

Amir Ali, arrested Nov 15, was carrying a genuine Indian passport issued by the Regional Passport Office in Lucknow. Ali also got a genuine driving licence and a PAN card issued on the basis of the passport, despite being a Pakistani national.

Meanwhile, the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh Police has been asked to probe the possibility of a large-scale racket in the issue of fake verification reports.

According to an ATS sleuth, some policemen and passport officials were “hand in glove”.

The “issue of verification report is a technical process, which cannot be carried out by anyone unfamiliar with the format”, the source said.

Asked if there could be a possibility of the local police attempting to cover up its lapses by letting off a constable initially picked up for questioning, the source said: “Nothing can be ruled out. But this is a serious matter and we will not spare anyone who is guilty of involvement.”