The Army Recruitment Office (ARO), Ludhiana, has identified 35 recruits, who got enrolled in the Army in September last year by allegedly using fraudulent methods, including submitting fake residence and domicile certificates.
A fresh FIR was registered Saturday (February 16) at Division Number 5 police station in the district on statement of Col Vishal Dubey, director (recruitment), ARO, Ludhiana against 35 new recruits. They have been booked under sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 467 (forgery of valuable will, security etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of IPC.
Sources in the ARO, meanwhile, said that seven more such recruits have been detected taking the total to 42. However, the additional names have not been included in the FIR.
Earlier, in January this year, Rupnagar (Ropar) police had arrested a gang of touts and had recovered from them fake stamps and seals of SHOs, tehsildars, sub-tehsildars and councillors. These touts used these to verify the residence proof certificate of the recruits.
After probe, Ludhiana police had registered an FIR against Surinder Pal, a civil defence employee and Mahinder Singh, an ex-hawaldar, for their alleged role in the scam.
In an official statement issued Sunday, Col Dubey said that one Civil Defence employee of the ARO office was found involved. He has been handed over to police after an FIR was registered on February 1, 2019.
Dubey said during the detailed scrutiny of fake residence proof certificates of the fraudulent candidates, it was observed that these certificates were found to be correct during online verification. To verify the same, the ARO Ludhiana carried out the verification of the suspected candidates by sending a team of ARO staff at the addresses provided in these certificates.
Col Dubey said that none of the addresses were found correct in respect of the fraudulent candidates. He said that it was observed during verification of the two candidates that their residence was same.
It came to fore that the house belonged to former havaldar Mohinder Singh against whom an arrest warrant was issued on February 11.
The scrutiny of other suspected addresses was in progress by the ARO staff. Col Dubey has written a letter to the deputy commissioners of Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali and Rupnagar districts and to the police commissioner of Ludhiana and DIGs for proper action. “It may be treated seriously as undesirable elements can get enrolled in the Indian Army using unfair means and cause disrepute/damage to the organisation,” read a portion of the letter.
He further stated that strict action would be taken against the recruits who got themselves enrolled in the Indian Army by using fraudulent methods.