Pune: Four including havildar arrested in Army job racket

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Pimpri Chinchwad police have arrested four persons, including a serving Army havildar, in an alleged job racket where aspirants were reportedly promised posts in the Army and police in exchange for large sums of money, and the racketeers confiscated the original certificates of the candidates as leverage.

Pimpri Chinchwad police said the arrests were made between November 10 and 16 but details of the alleged racket were made public only on Tuesday because the probe was still ongoing. Sources have said that while the Pimpri Chinchwad police were tipped off by the Military Intelligence of Southern Command about a possible paper leak in a recruitment examination, police probe has uncovered the alleged job rocket.

The police have identified the arrested suspects as Praveen Patil (25), a resident of Sangli, Mahesh Vaidya (27), a resident of Solapur, Anil Chavanke (35), a resident of Nashik and Tushar Dukre (25), a resident of Shirur in Pune district.

Pimpri Chinchwad police commissioner Krishna Prakash said, “Among the four arrested, Chavanke is serving as an Army jawan of Havildar rank. The probe has revealed that Patil approached aspiring candidates with a promise of recruitment, Vaidya took possession of the original documents of the candidates and assured clearance in medical examination with the help of Chavanke and Dukre’s involvement was getting the requisite domicile certificates for the candidates.” Police said that they have seized 11 original certificates of HSC and SSC exams of 11 candidates, seven fake call letters and four cell phones from Chavanke’s room.

Recently, the Pune City police have registered an FIR in connection to a paper leak in the exam process of the state Health Department. Sources have said that investigators are probing a link between the suspects arrested by Pimpri Chinchwad police and those involved in the health department paper leak. Sources have also confirmed that the links of the suspects arrested by Pimpri Chinchwad police with those arrested in the Army recruitment paper leak case from February were also being probed.

In a joint operation in February, the Army and Pune police had busted a racket in which exam papers of the soldier recruitment process were leaked. 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.

The investigations into multiple recent cases of frauds in military and government services selection processes have some striking commonalities — desperate youth ready to pay money for defence jobs, a nexus of either serving or retired personnel, touts and dubious coaching classes.

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