Inquiry ordered in ‘bribe-for-visa’ case

New Delhi, May 21 (IANS) The Union Home Ministry has ordered an inquiry to probe illegalities in granting Indian citizenship or extending Long Term Visa (LTV) to Pakistani immigrants following the arrest of one of its officials and three others on charges of demanding and accepting bribe from applicants, an official said on Monday.

“We are conducting an internal inquiry into the allegation that a ministry official demanded and accepted bribe from Pakistani immigrants. We are taking action to find out the loopholes and to plug them,” a Home Ministry official said.

According to the official, the Ministry has also ordered concerned officials to clear the pending cases of Pakistani immigrants applying for Indian citizenship or extending long-term visa (LTV).

The Ministry was also reportedly awaiting a report from Rajasthan Police on the alleged racket of “bribe-for-visa” after its Anti-Corruption Bureau arrested P.K. Mishra, the Senior Secretariat Assistant in the Foreigners Division of the Home Ministry, and three Pakistani immigrants — Ashok, Govind and Bhagwan Ram — last week for allegedly demanding and accepting bribe from Pakistani immigrants applying for Indian citizenship or extending long-term visa.

Rajasthan Police officials said the alleged racket was operating in the region for several years in connivance with government officials, who used an extensive network of agents, many of whom were Pakistani Hindu immigrants.

Every year, a large number of Pakistani Hindu migrants travel to India allegedly to escape religious persecution in the neighbouring country. Several such families have settled in Rajasthan, especially Jodhpur.

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