Posted online: Tuesday , February 19, 2008 at 11:49:00
Updated: Tuesday , February 19, 2008 at 12:07:56
New Delhi, February 18 They claimed they would represent India in a purported chess championship in the United States. Three days later the four from Gujarat are cooling their heels in Tihar Jail, after the New Delhi district police arrested the wannabe kings of 64 squares for forging documents to get visas.
Police sources today said the four attached forged bank statements with their visa applications. Antennae raised, US Embassy officials alerted the Chankyapuri police on Wednesday that some of the documents looked suspicious, sources said.
The police registered a case of forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy and the four — Naresh Kumar, Kishore, Anil Kumar and Ravi Kumar, all in their forties — were arrested the same day. They had applied for the visa on February 10, embassy officials have told the police.
They claimed they were invited to take part in the 2007-2008 Central Washington Chess Tournament. Visa applications said they were residents of Mehsana and Gandhinagar, Gujarat, and were part of ‘Oriental Chess Club’, from the state. Police sources said the visa applications mentioned the championship would begin on February 25 and would go on till March-end.
Post-arrest, the four have been sent to Tihar Jail.
During interrogation they claimed to have participated in many chess championships in Gujarat, a police source said. But, the source added, that claim could be a sham. “We have sent a team to their native place to verify their antecedents,” a police officer associated with the case said. “We will also verify the authenticity of the chess club they mentioned.”
According to police officers, based on statements of the accused and US Embassy officials a probe is on to trace whether this was part of a bigger human trafficking racket. Chanakyapuri police have made several arrests in the past one year on such human trafficking charges.
Recently, three persons were arrested after they applied for visas on religious grounds, as reported by Newsline on January 30.
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