Investigations into the Army recruitment racket have pointed towards the involvement of agents, schools and government employees in aiding aspirants to get forged certificates to qualify for jobs in the defence forces.
Even as Gujarat showed an impressive participation of over 40,000 aspirants in the recruitment camps held by the Army in Banaskantha and Sabarkantha districts, the probe has revealed that 108 participants, who actually belonged to Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Rajasthan, tried to get into the force by producing domicile certificates of Gujarat that were secured through unfair means.
Gujarat police do not rule out the possibility of those already training in the Army having used unfair means to get into the force. The case is being investigated by the State Monitoring Cell that works directly under DGP P C Thakur. The “forged” papers have been handed over to the DGP by Army Recruitment Board’s director (recruitment) Colonel Prithvisingh Saha.
State Monitoring Cell in-charge DSP D S Chauhan told The Indian Express: “We have requested the Army to get their (those already in the force) certificates checked again. Those boys will be arrested as well as middlemen, agents and staffers from schools who aided them.”
The Army had held two recruitment rallies — one in April 2014 at Palanpur in Banaskantha where 8,500 candidates participated, and the other in March this year at Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha where 29,150 aspirants appeared.
The certificates which are currently under the scanner belong to 50 aspirants from Palanpur camp who claimed to be domicile of Ahmedabad and 58 from Himmatnagar camp who claimed domicile of Rajkot and Kutch (49), and Sabarkantha (9). Palanpur and Himmatnagar camps had sent 497 and 722 aspirants to the Army, respectively.
The monitoring cell has recorded statements of 42 candidates, who reportedly have confessed to faking their residential proofs, while eight have ignored the summons.
Officials of the Army Recruitment Board said the suspect candidates tried to join the force through Gujarat “due to the availability of sources that help them get into government jobs on fake certificates”.
Those booked by Himmatnagar police are from Haryana and they gave residential addresses of Viratnagar and Indiranagar areas in Gandhinagar. Physical verifications showed Gujarati families living there for two decades.
The monitoring cell found that the domicile certificates were given on the basis of bonafide certificates secured through middlemen for commission of Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 each.
The domicile certificates in the Ahmedabad case were issued from the police commissioner office, while those in Rajkot case were issued by Rajkot and Mandvi mamlatdar offices. In Himmatnagar, the domicile certificates were issued by Gandhinagar mamlatdar.
DSP Chauhan said: “At government offices when candidates go with bonafide certificates, such as marksheets, the offices do not verify each applicant… There might be certain role of the constabulary that verifies the documents.”
The monitoring cell has zeroed in on a suspect, identified as Kushwaha, who was a “middleman” in the racket, and has previously been booked in a fake marksheet case in Ahmedabad.
The ARO identified 20 schools in Ahmedabad, mostly Hindi medium, in connection with the forged bonafide papers.
Colonel Saha told The Indian Express : “We found some residential proofs and marksheets suspected. We handed over all such documents to the DGP office and registered a complaint.”