BAREILLY: A joint team of Military Intelligence (MI) and UP Police on Wednesday unearthed a racket —involving an ex-serviceman, two policemen and five others — which allegedly helped several youths land jobs in the army on fake documents in the last two years. The investigators suspect that Pakistan’s spy agency ISI or some other anti-national forces may also have sneaked their men into the army using the racket. Police have arrested the retired soldier, one of the policemen and three others so far.
At a press conference attended by senior police officers and a representative of the MI, the number of those who got jobs in the army through the racket was put at 21. UP Police have also roped in the Intelligence Bureau as it has started reverification of all the candidates who made it to the Indian Army starting January 2019 in four districts where the racket was active.
DIG of Bareilly range, Rajesh Pandey, told TOI, “I have ordered reverification of all the successful candidates in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Budaun and Shahjahanpur. We have also asked the IB and other security agencies to join the investigation. I am monitoring the case and coordinating with all the agencies.”
The accused were arrested from a rented apartment in Banda area, Shahjahanpur. They were later identified as Suresh Som, 55, Hukum Singh, Paramveer Singh, Mukesh Kumar and police constable Manveer Singh. The MI officer from Bareilly said, “Suresh Som was a havildar in 26 Rajput Regiment and retired in February 2010. Our Bareilly unit is thoroughly investigating the case with police. A separate internal investigation is also going on. The possibility of the involvement of anti-national groups like ISI cannot be ruled out as Som had leaked inside information to recruit the candidates on fake documents.”
He said that the MI Bareilly is scanning antecedents of 21 candidates as of now. “The numbers can go up after the investigation,” he said. Two other accused, including police constable Moolchand and one Arvind Kumar are on a run, police said.
Senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Shahjahanpur, S Anand, said that arrested constable Manveer Singh used to ratify the fake documents of candidates in Shahjahanpur district using his position.
The SSP said, “It is a very big scam. Data of 21 candidates, shortlisted in the army through fake documents and showing them as residents of Bareilly division, has been found so far.
“We have seized 23 fake stamps of government offices and village heads. Several forged mark-sheets and other fake documents were also recovered from the accused. We are trying to find out the total number of candidates who were recruited through fraudulent means. This is a matter related to national security and no one will be spared. One of the accused constables, Manveer, had accepted a bribe of Rs 52,000 from the accused for the verification of a candidate. The accused were getting huge amounts of money for the recruitment. The involvement of ISI or some other anti-national forces behind this racket cannot be denied,” he added.
During the press conference, ex-servicemen Som said that he wanted to make quick money to start a career in politics.