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INDIA: Sikh priest arrested for forgery

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Three people, including a gurdwara priest, were arrested for allegedly printing the letterhead of a Mulund gurdwara and forging its seal and signature of its president.

They did this to sell it as ‘recommendation letter’ to two Punjab residents, who wanted UK visas. “Swarna Singh Jagtar Singh, 40, Tejander Singh Raghuveer Singh, 36, and Jinder Singh, 35, were arrested for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy. They were remanded in police custody for a week on Friday,” said Manoj Dhamunse, assistant police inspector of Mulund police station.

The police are looking for Swarna’s associate, also an accused.

Swarna Singh has been serving as a priest at the Mulund Gurdwara for two years. “He allegedly given the fake letter head with the fake signature of its president and seal to Tejander and Jinder to get a visa from UK consulate,” said Dhamunse.

Bhipinder Singh Kir, 50, a businessman and president of the Mulund Colony Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, said: “The UK consulate in Mumbai contacted our office, saying that they had got a recommendation from the president of the Mulund Gurdwara about Tejinder who had applied for a UK visa and they wanted to verify it.”

The Gurdwara committee members asked them to mail the letter to them, saying that its president was out of India.

”I had not given any recommendation letter to anyone. During the preliminary inquiry, I learnt that somebody had printed the letterhead of our Gurdwara and forged my signature and seal on the letter,” said Kir. He alleged they had sold the letter for Rs2,000.

On September 24, he lodged a complaint, saying he suspected four people in the crime, including Swarna and Tejander.

The three were arrested on Friday.