EO wing of Pune police has unravelled recruitment scam involving at least nine such candidates who got recruited in the police force
Pune,July6:Government jobs are much sought after, particularly those in the police department. The state sees over 30,000 applicants to fill positions of constables in the police force. It’s for the first time that the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Pune police has unravelled a scam involving at least nine such candidates who managed to clear all the tests and got selected by hoodwinking the system. The to-be cops set up dummy candidates to appear for written examinations and physical tests for them.
The case harks back to the constable recruitment drive that was taken up in 2016. In March, the candidates were made to appear for physical tests at the police ground in Shivajinagar and at Balewadi stadium. Those who got through, qualified for the written exams a few days later. The ones who cleared both were shortlisted and hired on the basis of their scores.
While the exercise of shortlisting eligible candidates was in progress, cops received a fax alleging that some candidates were cheated in the selection process. This communication set the ball rolling, and over the next few days an FIR was filed against one Bijusing Gusinge and investigation began. Gusinge was the one who had cleared the exams by allegedly making someone else appear for written tests on his behalf.
Little over a year later, cops have more or less unravelled the mystery. What started off as one candidate duping the system, has now taken the shape of a scam. So far, nine candidates have been identified. They are all allegedly part of a syndicate, which specialises in getting people recruited in the police force.
Officials have revealed that once they started investigating, they examined video footages of the recruitment. That is when they figured that the person appearing for physical tests was different from the one taking the exams. Both used the same unique identity or chest number issued by the recruiters. In case of Gusinge, one Ganesh Benale allegedly took the written test on his behalf. While Gusinge was arrested and let off on bail, on July 3 the district sessions court rejected Benale’s bail application. Police have now narrowed down names of all the candidates who got through as well as their dummies, who took one or the other test on their behalf.
Separate FIRs have been filed against each one of the shortlisted candidates. Investigators believe that the candidates were not working independently but were part of a syndicate. “We know that they are all being controlled by a kingpin. The mafia gets dummy candidates for those who want a job. They ensure that those who are good in academics appear for written tests, while those who have a decent physique take the physical tests. This way one of the two gets a job. It is a very well-organised network. However, we are yet to get to the kingpin,” an investigator told Mirror, requesting anonymity.
Another challenge being faced by the cops is the custody of the accused. Almost all the accused hail from villages and hamlets, located 50 km away from Aurangabad. All of them belong to certain communities. Rajesh Puranik, senior inspector of EOW said, “Each time we go to arrest them, they are alerted about us. They have evaded arrests for so long.” Apart from Benale, three more people named by the police in separate FIRs have sought anticipatory bail.
Lawyers appearing for the accused, however say that their clients are being victimised. Advocate Deepak Shamdire, who is representing Benale, said, “It is a mere coincidence that all the accused are from poor families and from the same caste. They are being falsely implicated. We believe that the selectors wanted to recruit a set of specific people who did not perform as well as these boys and hence came up with these cases.”
█ The mafia ensures that those who are good in academics appear for the written test, while those with a decent physique take the physical tests. It is a well-organised network