The CBI on Tuesday searched 33 locations across the country in connection with its probe into the J&K Sub-Inspector recruitment exam scam. In a statement, the CBI said it seized “incriminating documents and digital devices” during the operation.
Sources said the searches were carried out in Jammu, Srinagar; Karnal, Mahendergarh, Rewari in Haryana; Gandhinagar in Gujarat; Delhi; Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, and Bangalore in Karnataka.
The premises being searched belonged to former Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (JKSSB) chairman Khalid Jehangir; JKSSB Controller of Examination Ashok Kumar, apart from officials of J&K Police and a CRPF official.
“Investigation has revealed the alleged payment of Rs 20-30 lakh(approx) by willing candidates and their families to the accused for accessing the question paper before commencement of the examination. In this regard, involvement of a gang domiciled in Haryana, certain teachers of J&K, some serving/retired personnel of CRPF, J&K Police and JKSSB has allegedly come to light. Investigation is continuing,” the CBI said in a statement.
Last month, the agency had booked three officials of JKSSB, a BSF officer, a former CRPF officer and a J&K policeman, among others, for alleged irregularities in the Sub-Inspector recruitment exam in the Union Territory. The irregularities led to an abnormally high number of candidates being selected from Jammu, Rajouri and Samba districts.
The agency had then also conducted searches at 30 locations spread across Jammu, Srinagar and Bengaluru. In all, the agency has booked 33 people and entities, which include a coaching centre in Akhnoor and a Bengaluru-based company.
The examination was held on March 27 this year and the results were declared on June 4, listing 1,200 successful candidates out of over 97,000 who had appeared in the exam. However, soon after the declaration of the result, unsuccessful candidates took to the street, alleging fraud in the recruitment process.
On July 8 the J&K administration cancelled the exam with Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha announcing on Twitter ordering a CBI probe. The administration had also constituted an inquiry committee to look into the matter.
Those booked by the agency have been identified as Dr Karnail Singh, medical officer, BSF Frontier Hqrs, Paloura; Ashok Kumar, ASI, J&K Police; Ashwani Kumar, former CRPF official; Avinash Gupta, owner of EDUMAX Classes, Akhnoor; Akshay Kumar, a manager at the coaching centre; Roshan Bral, a Rehbar-e-Taleem teacher; JKAS officer Narayan Dutt, who was then a member of JKSSB; Bishan Dass, then Under Secretary, JKSSB; Anju Raina, then section officer, JKSSB; and M/s MeritTrac Services Private Limited, Bengaluru.
After cancelling the exam, Sinha had tweeted: “JKP Sub-Inspector recruitment has been cancelled and a CBI probe has been recommended into the selection process. Culprits will be brought to justice soon. It’s a first big step towards securing future of our youth and the govt will soon decide future course of action for fresh recruitment.”