March 2, 2021 11:45:49 pm
EXPANDING their probe into the Army recruitment exam paper leak, Pune City Police have arrested four more people, including two serving Army personnel, and said that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) will be formed to probe the matter that had led to cancellation of the examination.
Working on specific intelligence inputs, the Southern Command Liaison Unit of the Military Intelligence and the Crime Branch of Pune City Police had conducted raids at several places in Pune district on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday, and recovered a question paper for the Common Entrance Exam (CEE) for recruitment of Soldier (General Duty), indicating a possible leak.
Three persons, including an ex-serviceman, were initially arrested in connection with the case. After confirming that the question paper was for the CEE, the Army called off the examination, which was scheduled to be held Sunday at around 50 locations across India and for which over 30,000 candidates were to appear.
Pune police have registered two separate offences at Wanawadi and Vishrantwadi police stations, which pertain to the alleged paper leak. The two separate cases denote actions by two separate teams of Crime Branch into the same examination process, officials said. Three persons have been arrested in connection to the offence registered at Vishrantwadi police station and four under the case at Wanawadi police station. The total number of arrests is now seven, which includes two serving Army personnel.
Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta said, “At this stage, we are refraining from divulging a lot of details because this is a very sensitive case. We will be probing how the paper was leaked, how the aspirants were tapped, how the paper was circulated to them, who were the agents, how the monetary transactions happened, how the insiders were involved etc. We can say that this was a very widespread racket and more action is likely.”
Joint Commissioner of Police Ravindra Shisve said, “Considering the expanse of the case, a Special Investigation Team will investigate the two separate cases and further threads that emerge from them. The orders for the institution of the SIT are yet to be issued. Our probe also points to the involvement of private coaching classes training the aspirants for these exams.”
In the case registered at Wanawadi police station, police have recovered the leaked exam paper and have also confirmed that it was being circulated on WhatsApp and money was being charged from the aspirants. Initially, police arrested two persons — Kishor Giri (40) of Baramati and Madhav Gitte (38).
“In addition to the two initial arrests, we have also arrested two serving Army personnel, 31-year-old Gopal Yuvraj Koli, who is a drill instructor at an Army establishment, and 23-year-old Uday Dattu Awati, who is with the regimental police at another Army establishment in Pune,” said Senior Inspector Vitthal Patil.
In the case registered at Vishrantwadi police station, while police have arrested three persons on the primary suspicion of their involvement in the paper leak and also indicators that money was demanded over promise of furnishing the question paper prior to exam, the probe team has not been able to recover a copy of the exam paper. In this case, police have arrested Ali Akhtar Khan (47), Azad Lalmohammed Khan (37) and Mahendra Chandrabhan (37).
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