FOUR ASPIRANTS were left bruised during a Navy recruitment drive at the INS Hamla in Malad, police said. The incident took place in the early hours of Friday, when the recruitment for Senior Secondary Recruits (SSR) was on. The Navy said while it had expected a good response to its recruitment call, it did not foresee over 7,000 candidates lining up outside the naval base. A rush ensued after the gates of INS Hamla were opened for the aspirants.
“Due to the large crowd, there was some pushing and shoving as aspirants jostled to go inside the gates. Four job-seekers were left injured. They were given medical aid at the Navy hospital and discharged. All the four suffered minor bruises,” said Milind Khetle, senior police inspector, Malwani police station, in whose jurisdiction the naval base falls. Local police had been deployed outside the base since Thursday night for the recruitment drive.
Navy officials said that following the large turnout, some last-minute changes were made in the selection process. “Those who had secured over 60 per cent in the Science streams in HSC were asked to step forward. A commotion ensued, which left four aspirants injured,” a source said. Later, the Navy allowed all aspirants who had cleared HSC in the Science stream to take the test.
“On May 23, when we published the first advertisement for SSR, we received a very lukewarm response with only 1,628 applicants applying for 228 vacancies available in Maharashtra. One more advertisement was issued on August 31. The selection criterion mentioned in both the advertisements was 12th pass in Science stream. But to our disbelief, over 7000 aspirants showed up on Friday. For crowd management, we asked those with over 60 per cent marks to step forward first. But this led to some confusion,” said a Navy spokesperson.”The examination will continue till all eligible candidates with valid documents have been examined. It has been clarified that there has been no change in the minimum educational qualifications etc, and all the volunteers (with valid documents) will get a chance to appear for the recruitment opportunity,” the spokesperson added.
Some of the aspirants had, however, returned home following the commotion. Sagar Thakre (18), a Dhule resident, rued that he had learnt about the revised exam schedule only after he landed at the Dadar station to board the train back home.
“I had learnt about the recruitment process through a friend, and decided to appear for it. I was told that students who have cleared their HSC in Science stream were eligible to apply but when I reached here, owing to the rush, student with less than 60 per cent were asked to leave,” Thakre told the The Indian Express. “I am a son of a farmer and was looking forward to getting a job in the Indian Navy. With lot of struggle I managed to save Rs 700 that I used for my travel. I would not have travelled this far had the cut-off criteria been specified in advance,” Thakre added.