THE Punjab Police say they are looking for 663 Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) in marriage disputes and other criminal cases.
The Tribune newspaper of Chandigarh reported Monday that of the 27 police districts in Punjab, the Doaba region accounts for more than half of the “proclaimed offenders.” The majority are wanted for fraud marriages and ditching their spouses.
The Jalandhar (rural) police district has the highest number of “proclaimed offenders” at 195 NRIs, followed by Moga (128), Jalandhar City (72), Amritsar City (34), Faridkot (32), Ludhiana-rural (28), Ludhiana City (22), Khanna (17), Ropar (14) and Hoshiarpur (12).
Patiala, Pathankot and Fazilka districts don’t have any NRIs on their wanted lists while Bathinda, Ferozepur, Muktsar and Mansa districts had fewer than 5 wanted NRIs on their lists.
Assistant Inspector General (NRI wing) Charanjit Singh told the media that some of the NRIs have been on the wanted lists for more than a decade.
Punjab now has 15 NRI police stations which are hunting for 123 “proclaimed offenders” and the largest number are from Canada at 44, followed by the U.S. (27), the U.K. (16), Italy (13) and Australia (8).
Inspector General (NRI wing) Gurpreet Deo said directions had been issued to the heads of all NRI police stations to speed up the process of attaching the properties of the “proclaimed offenders.”
“The properties of some NRIs who solemnised sham marriages were attached recently. The police are already in the process of attaching the properties of the remaining POs,” she said, according to the Tribune newspaper.
She said extradition was a complex procedure and added: “To arrest an NRI, we mostly rely on lookout circular. We are alerted whenever a proclaimed offender lands at any airport in India.”
But Deo also pointed out that not all complaints against NRIs turned out to be true. “The names of two NRIs were recently struck off the list of proclaimed offenders. At times complaints are filed only to harass them. We always conduct a thorough investigation and give due hearing to the NRIs too,” she said.