A report by the Police Recruitment Board (PRB) on the sub-inspector recruitment process, held in February in Rajkot, has found three officers, including one from the IPS, guilty of aiding two women and one male candidate to cheat in the physical tests to clear the process.
The inquiry, conducted by SP (Rajkot district) Gagandeep Gambhir, names State Reserve Police Group XIII Commandant M L Ninama (IPS), ACP Rajkot (headquarters) A L Chaudhary and Police Inspector (headquarters) R L Pandor guilty. The report was upheld by Inspector General of Police (Law & Order) and head of the Sub-Inspectors Recruitment Board Manoj Agrawal and submitted to the state government recently.
Gambhir’s report states that two women candidates — Vinku Kunadia posted at Amreli district and Pooja Khuman, a physical training teacher — had appeared for the physical rounds of the sub-Inspectors recruitment session held at Rajkot. ACP Chaudhary’s son was also participating in the same recruitment process. On February 16, the women candidates, who were to run the 1,600 metre race in 9.5 minutes, saw Kunadia and Khuman jump the rest by intercepting them and finishing the run in 55 seconds. The CCTV cameras caught the women suddenly visible at the finishing line, though they are not seen in the beginning of the track. The supervisor had pulled them out of the race and reported the matter to recruitment authorities.
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However, when this was happening, on the other side, ACP A L Chaudhary, who was also supervising the recruitment, was pushing for his son’s recruitment as sub inspector, had allegedly sought a favour from Ninama, another supervisor at the same recruitment.
Ninama, instead of watching over the recruitment process, had allegedly made SRP jawans drop the women candidates to the SRP grounds early morning before the recruitment process began and later sent Chaudhary’s son in his own car to the ground. Chaudhary’s son was also allegedly seen sitting in the control room and going through the details of the process.
Both Ninama and Chaudhary were aware of the short cut the women candidates took for the run, as planned, to qualify in the physical round, the PRB officials said.
A senior PRB officer said, “This kind of gross cheating was witnessed for the first time ever since the board was formed. The candidates cheated with the connivance of police officers to qualify anyhow. The officers have also been caught in the act of cheating by facilitating and favouring the women candidates and Chaudhary’s son.”
The PRB then ordered an inquiry into the matter. The board rusticated the women candidates from the police recruitment and removed Ninama and Chaudhary from the recruitment process immediately and handed over the inquiry to SP Rajkot Gagandeep Gambhir.
The PRB officials said that SP Gambhir, while inquiring into the matter, found recorded statements of the women candidates, deputy SPs and Police Inspectors present at the SRP grounds during the recruitment that supported the warden’s observation that the women had taken a short cut in the examination. IGP Manoj Agrawal said, “We have accepted SP’s report in totality and sent it to the State DGP for further action. We have added the remarks for actions against the officers.”
In his report, IGP Agrawal has requested the state government to initiate departmental action against them. State DGP office, that has now received the report, will initiate an inquiry into the matter this week.