The Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) have demanded a probe after police arrested Rubel Jonu Shaikh, president of north Mumbai minority cell of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for living illegally in the country for years. Shaikh is allegedly a Bangladeshi immigrant living in Malad illegally for around 10 years.
Malvani police recently arrested 24-year old Shaikh in a crackdown on illegal immigrants and booked him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Passport (Entry into India) Act and Foreigners Act. The police investigation revealed that he was a Bangladesh national who has been living in Mumbai illegally since 2011. The investigation also revealed that the accused had prepared fake identity cards such as PAN and Aadhaar cards with the help of forged documents.
Shaikh is the chairman of minority cell of the party's north Mumbai youth wing, according to the police report.
NCP spokesperson Mahesh Tapase wrote a letter to state home minister Anil Deshmukh seeking an investigation into the Bangladesh connection. "I am surprised that BJP leaders, who are always on the forefront for action against people speaking against them, terming them anti-nationals, are silent on this issue," he said.
Congress general secretary and spokesperson Sachin Sawant said, "On one hand, the BJP is bringing Citizenship Amendment Act for the action against illegal residents, on the other, its own office-bearers are proved to be Bangladeshis. The party should clarify if they have made some special provision in the Act for their own people. Is this some type of jihad in the party?"
BJP leader and legislator Ashish Shelar hit back at the Congress and raised question over the nationality of the Congress leaders. "None of our party workers or office-bearers belongs to Bangladesh. Police are free to take action against any such person if they have sufficient evidence. Sawant's allegations are baseless and levelled for the sake of publicity. We would not ask him which country his party president belongs to," he said.