'Converts' could be Bangladeshis

Giving a new twist to the recent “mass conversion” in Agra, intelligence sources here said the “converts” could be illegal migrants from Bangladesh who arrived here from West Bengal a few years ago.

Sources said the “converts” had admitted that they were from Bangladesh and had been living at the vacant plot at Ved Nagar locality in the town for about four years. “Many of these people also have election photo identity cards, which have been issued from Agra,” said an official here.

Sources said the local intelligence unit in Agra had a few years ago identified as many as 57 families as Bangladeshi migrants living in Agra “illegally”, the official added.

Though no one had paid attention to them earlier, the families shot to the limelight after 250 members of 60 families allegedly “converted” at a religious function organised by some saffron outfits on Monday.

These families were mainly involved in scrap dealing and some of them also worked as labourers through a local contractor. The local contractor identified as Ismail has been taken into custody after the revelation that these people were illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Reports said some women migrants had also married in Agra after paying money to obtain Indian citizenship.

Sources said some of the families had “fled” from the town after the conversion controversy. The police were trying to trace the families, which might have shifted elsewhere or even returned to West Bengal fearing arrest, officials said.

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