A retired state government official and his wife were on Tuesday arrested for allegedly running a racket, as part of which they duped students of lakhs by promising them admission into medical colleges and other reputed institutions.
Police said Ashok Kumar Srivastava, an ayurvedic doctor, had retired as the district research officer in the office of Hardoi chief medical officer on October 31, 2015. “In 2012, he had started a coaching centre, ‘Pragya IAS’, in Lucknow’s Hazratganj area, which was run by his wife Saroj. The centre claimed to help students prepare for civil services and other government recruitment exams and also admission to medical colleges,” said a police officer.
“The couple promised to get the students admitted to medical colleges through management quota and took between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 35 lakh from each student. Around 50 people gave their money to the couple,” the officer added.
SP (East) Sarvesh Kumar Mishra told mediaperons that some students were handed over fake admission letters. When some of them returned from cities like New Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Mumbai, they found the centre had been closed and the couple gone missing.
Subsequently, three FIRs were registered at Hazratganj police station last year on charges of fraud against the couple following complaints by Akbarpur resident Kripashankar Pandey (paid Rs 20 lakh to the couple), Lucknow resident Brijnath Ram Tandon (paid Rs 32.5 lakh) and another Lucknow resident Rani Sharma (paid Rs 11 lakh).
Police said Srivastava and his wife were arrested from Faridabad in Haryana, where they were planing to start another coaching centre. “Srivastava also faces a case related to irregularities of Rs 1 crore in the NRHM scam but its details are still being gathered… They have been sent to jail,” Hazratganj SHO Anand Kumar Shahi said.