In the backdrop of an ongoing probe into the Army soldier recruitment paper leak case, Army authorities on Wednesday said Southern Army Commander Lieutenant General JS Nain has instituted proactive measures to enable early completion of the investigation.
A press statement issued by the Army on Wednesday stated, “Indian Army reaffirms its resolve of zero tolerance towards corrupt practices and continues to extend full procedural support for ongoing joint investigation of the question paper leak case of the Common Entrance Examination (CEE) for recruitment of Soldiers (General Duty). The investigations of the said case commenced on an initial tip-off by the Army to the police on February 28.”
The press release added, “Lt Gen JS Nain, Army Commander, Southern Command has issued strict instructions to all station commanders in the area of responsibility to assist in the ongoing investigations. He has instituted proactive measures to enable early completion of the investigations.”
On February 28, the Army was set to conduct a pan-India CEE for recruitment of soldiers. This particular process was referred to as ‘relation recruitment’, meaning the drive was for those who have immediate relatives in the Army.
The written exam was to be conducted at 40 exam centres across India and 30,000 aspirants were slated to appear for it. However, after receiving a tip off about a paper leak, the Military Intelligence of the Army conducted a joint operation with Pune police to seize question papers.
The primary probe revealed that the suspected leaked paper was a 100 per cent match to the original question paper, following which the Army cancelled the entire process.
The Army’s statement said , “Timely actions and whole-hearted support by the Army to the police is reflective of Army’s resolve to weed out malpractices and make the existing recruitment system foolproof and robust. The interest in the youth to join the Armed forces needs no reiteration. The Army therefore continues to implement strict checks and balances to ensure a transparent recruitment process. The Indian Army exhorts all candidates not to fall prey to the nefarious designs of touts and inimical elements, and support the authorities to keep the recruitment system clean and transparent.”
The case has till now seen nine arrests, including three serving Army officers — a Lieutenant Colonel and two Majors, two serving soldiers, three ex-servicemen and one civilian. Three more including one defence civilian employee and two civilians have been arrested in a related case, taking the number of arrests connected to the recruitment process to a dozen till now.