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CBI nabs 5 more persons in police recruitment scam in Jammu and Kashmir

LG Manoj Sinha has led from the front to root out corruption in Jammu and Kashmir

The Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) has on Monday arrested five more persons including one constable of the Indian Reserve Police (IRP) and two Haryana-based agents in the allegedly scandalous selection of 1200 candidates for recruitment as Sub Inspectors in the Jammu and Kashmir Police.

Three of the accused arrested in Jammu, have been identified as the IRP constable Kewal Krishan who was posted at Mattan in Anantnag district of South Kashmir, Ashwani Kumar and Rakesh Kumar of Khour. Ashwani, according to official sources, had resigned voluntarily in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Rakesh had allegedly collected an amount of Rs 1.25 crore from different clients.

During the investigation the name of two Haryana-based agents of this racket also surfaced. Yatin Yadav aka Guru Ji of Rewari and Anil Kumar of Mahendragarh were accordingly arrested. With these detention, the total number of the accused nabbed by the CBI for custodial interrogation has reached eight.

Previously in the two rounds of raids, the CBI had arrested three persons including a government school teacher and a Police constable. They were sent to judicial custody after completion of their 14-day Police remand.

On Monday, a CBI team swooped on Hotel New Krishna Palace at Chand Nagar in the Jammu City. Later the same team also searched the hotel owner Sanjay Kumar Dutta’s residence in the same area. According to official sources, the CBI teams searched for certain evidence as the agency had inputs about his involvement with the members of the racket who had leaked the question papers and stayed at his hotel.

“The question paper was brought to his hotel where some teachers wrote answers which were subsequently provided to the beneficiaries in exchange for hefty amounts of money”, said an official. He said that a number of documents were recovered and seized during the search operation.

The Jammu and Kashmir Services Selection Board (SSB) carried out the selection process for recruitment of around 1200 SIs in the Jammu and Kashmir Police early this year. A written examination of the eligible candidates was conducted in March through a Bengaluru-based agency which had been hired by the State Government in 2011. The results were declared in the month of June.

Media and other circles raised an outcry over the apparent irregularities after some of the failed candidates published names of multiple members of the same families which had been selected. Taking cognizance of the complaints, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha ordered a high level departmental inquiry headed by Additional Chief Secretary of Home Department, R.K. Royal. Principal Secretary General Administration Department Manoj Kumar Dwivedi and Law Secretary Achal Sethi were nominated as its members. After a month-long investigation, it established serious irregularities in the selection process, recommended its ab initio cancellation and fresh selection through a credible agency. It also recommended a thorough investigation by a Central or State agency for criminal determination of the actors involved in this scam.

The LG accepted the Goyal Committee recommendations and ordered cancellation of the entire selection list. On his direction, the government assigned the investigation to the CBI which is now investigating this scandal and identifying the culprits.

According to various reports and complaints from different quarters, substantial amounts of money, ranging between ₹15 lakh and ₹30 lakh, have been collected from each of the fraudulently selected beneficiary. Following this scandal, the LG’s government has also cancelled the selection of Junior Engineers in Jal Shakti Department and Accounts Assistants in the Finance Department for which exams had been conducted by the same agency in the month of March this year. Wanton irregularities have been noticed in both these selections.

Also Read: In Kashmir, Manoj Sinha steps up fight against corruption clogging rise of new Kashmir