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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Fake Birth-Certificate racket busted at Kolkata

The civic top brass and police have busted a fake birth-certificate racket that operated from the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) headquarters and had networks in all the borough and ward offices. The gang had been operating for several years and it took a six-month-long investigation by the civic body to identify the key players, who include some KMC health department employees.

Ashit Saraswati, a KMC health department bailiff, was arrested 10 days ago after a woman complained to the police that he had taken money from her for a birth certificate but gave her a fake one. Though Saraswati is posted in Behala, he used to visit the civic head quarters at S N Banerjee Road frequently. He was earlier arrested a few months ago for issuing a certificate with an invalid KMC logo, but was released as the complainant withdrew the FIR.

That's not all. The police have found that a section of civic employees, with the help of the touts, has been regularly forging documents and even the signature of a metropolitan magistrate to sell birth certificates at high rates. "Depending on the urgency of the applicant, who approaches a tout because he does not have valid documents or to avoid harassment, a birth certificate can be sold for anything between Rs 2,000 and 5,000," said a KMC official.


A recent raid by a civic team at a tout's hideout took the officials by surprise. "We have found among other documents fake copies of orders issued in the name of a city metropolitan magistrate. The touts have forged the signature of the magistrate concerned," said Debasis Sen, the special officer of the KMC health department.

(Courtesy: Homai News)