Touts,who are mushrooming in the garb of training schools run by ex-servicemen in the state,have come under the scanner of the Army authorities.
The authorities want the state governments to tighten the noose around these touts,who extract a hefty fee from unsupecting candidates during recruitment drives. They have even filed a police complaint against one such training school in Ahmedabad.
Colonel S P Sharma,Director (Recruiting),Gujarat,said: “We want touting for recruitments in defence services to be declared an offence that tantamounts to sedition by all the state governments. Not only this,the offenders should be punished under strict provisions in order to deter the rampant practice.”
In Gujarat,sources said,the current fee a tout levies,promising to get a person into the Army as a General Duty Soldier (GDS) and clerk varies between Rs 40,000 and Rs 60,000.
“This fee includes the money needed to procure Gujarat’s domicile certificates and other expanses like the alleged greasing of several palms within the recruitment authorities. The money,normally,is paid after the candidate qualifies for the written entrance test,” said an officer,who did not wish to be identified.
According to officials,touts generally work on the law of probability and collect money from a group of candidates hoping that at least some of them would get selected. The gullible targets,the officials added,are picked up from the candidates who have the calibre of being selected on their own merit.
With instances of touts duping Army aspirants coming to light after recruitment rallies in Gujarat,the Army recruitment authorities have started an awareness campaign in the state. “We make aspiring candidates and their families understand that the Army follows a transparent process of recruitment,which is only based on the merit of candidates. We also make them understand that no tout can help anyone get into this prestigious services and that they make false claims only to dupe them,” Colonel Sharma added.
In order to make sure that no tout dupes candidates,the recruitment authorities take all the necessary steps so that no suspected tout meets the candidates or even recruitment officers during the drive. They also paste anti-tout posters in and around the rally venue. Making candidates aware about such touts is one of the topics of daily briefings of senior commissioned Army officers,with an over cautious Army not making public the names of qualified candidates in different stages of recruitment process.
According to sources,amid the ongoing Army awareness campaign,the latest modus operandi of touts is to open Army recruitment schools for training the candidates. Such schools include the ones being run by some ex-servicemen that are mushrooming across the state. Ahmedabad alone has got at least three such schools,he said.
Colonel Sharma added: “In fact,in December last year,we had even filed a complaint against one such school that was being run in Meghaninagar by one Anil. A candidate from Porbandar had complained to us about this man and we brought it to the notice of the Shahibuag police immediately.”
However,in what only shows the lax attitude of the police against such complaints,the Shahibuag police had nothing to say on the issue. “There may have been a forgery complaint in this connection before my posting. I will have to check the records to comment on that,” said Inspector J N Parmar.