July 16, 2021 9:03:56 am
The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) on Thursday said they had arrested four men and busted a recruitment scam. At least Rs 50,000 of bribe money was recovered from the suspects during the operation, the officials of the vigilance bureau said.
The four arrested accused were identified as Pirthipal Singh, a multipurpose healthcare worker posted at a Primary Health Center (PHC) in Dhotian (Tarn Taran district), his aide Malkiat Singh of Varpal village (Amritsar), the kingpin Sukhwant Singh (from Ludhiana), and Harpal Singh, who is also the sarpanch of Kad Gill village (Tarn Taran district).
The complainant in the case, Barinderpal Singh, a resident of Mohalla Jaswant Singh Nagar (Tarn Taran), in his complaint has alleged that one of the suspects, Pirthipal Singh, was known to him, and had offered to get him recruited to a government job. The complainant informed that he had passed on the offer, instead asked Pirthipal to get his relative, Harmandeep Singh of Chak Sikander village in Tarn Taran district recruited to the said job.
Pirthipal had later introduced Barinderpal to Malkiat, who claimed to be an employee of the Punjab government’s personnel department. The suspects then had asked for a bribe of Rs 3.5 lakh for getting the recruitment done, half of which was to be paid in advance.
According to a vigilance bureau spokesperson, the accused, Pirthipal, had already taken a bribe of Rs.10,000 from the complainant on July 5. Subsequently, the complainant received a phone call from Pirthipal, wherein, he reminded that an advance of Rs. 1,75,000 was to be paid upfront for initiating the recruitment process. Pirthipal later told Barinderpal that if he didn’t have the said amount at present, then he could pay either Rs 1 lakh or Rs. 50,000 for now.
The vigilance bureau spokesperson said, “The complainant by then had changed his mind and did not want to get his relative recruited in a government job anymore by paying a bribe. He, however, wanted to unearth the whole scam and approached us. Thereupon, a trap was laid and Prithipal and Malkiat were nabbed red handed accepting a bribe of Rs.50,000 from the complainant in the presence of two witnesses. In this regard, a case under Prevention of Corruption Act has been registered against the accused.”
Investigations further revealed that Sukhwant Singh, operating from Ludhiana, is the kingpin of the gang that used to often lure unsuspecting people on the pretext of recruitment to various state government departments.
The accused have confessed that they had demanded from the complainant a total of Rs. 3.5 lakh for recruitment of his relative as a helper in PSPCL. Out of this amount, Sukhwant Singh would have received Rs 3 lakh, whereas Prithipal and Malkiat would have gotten Rs. 25,000 each.
“Previously, Malkiat and the kingpin Sukhwant, had duped one Harpreet Singh of Amritsar district on the pretext of recruitment as a helper in PSPCL. Malkait also told us that one Harpal Singh, the Sarpanch of Kad Gill village in Tarn Taran was also helping the gang. Harpal was also arrested,” said the vigilance bureau spokesperson.
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