The Special Operation Group of Kutch West police have arrested a provision store owner of Bhuj for allegedly forging certificates and driving licences of Indian Army and Border Security Force and use them to get motor-vehicle driving licences for civilians.
The provision store owner, identified as one Kantilal Vora was arrested by SOG on Thursday afternoon. During a search at his provision store in Talav Sheri of Bhuj, SOG officers recovered five fake Army serving certificates and 20 blank driving licenses usually issued by the Army. He was produced in a court in Bhuj on Friday and the court sent him to police custody for three days.
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SOG officials said that they had got a tip off that fake Army serving certificates were being furnished as bonafied certificate with the Regional Transport Office (RTO) in Bhuj for getting driving licences. The lead led the police eventually to 54-year-old Vora.
“Some time ago, Vora had a contract of supplying ration and other provision to Army and BSF in Bhuj and therefore he had contacts with officers there. During that period, he came to know that RTO exempts an applicant from driving test and other formalities if an applicant furnishes a bonafied certificate from Army or BSF. Later on, he started forging such certificates and use them to help civilians get driving licences for a fee,” SOG police inspector Mahavir Jalu told The Indian Express.
Jalu is the investigating officer of the case. The PI said that Vora had been carrying out this activity for the last eight to 10 months. “He confesses to have helped at least 15 people get driving licences by furnishing forged serving certificates and Army driving licences. We have been able to trace two civilians whom he had helped get driving licences for Rs2000 each. Investigation is on for the rest,” Jalu further said.
The PI added that Vora claims to to have contacts with many officers and that it was possible he could have helped some jawans, who could be bonafied applicants, to get driving licences.
“The matter came to light after RTO officers noted that some certificates attached with driving licence applications bore stamps of both the Indian Army and BSF and raised alarm. However. we have not recovered any rubber stamp from Vora’s store so far,” Jalu further added. Jalu said that SOG was in touch with Army and BSF in this regard.
Vora’s arrest comes around a month after the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of Gujarat had arrested two men from near bus station of Gujarat State Road Transport Corporation in Bhuj for allegedly spying for Pakistan. The ATS had recovered some digital store devices which contained pictures of defence assets in Kutch. Early in March this year, a truck leaner was arrested by police after he was caught taking pictures inside the military station in Bhuj. SOG has booked Vora for forgery and using forge certificates for the purpose of cheating.