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Railway job racket busted

The CBI has busted a railway job racket allegedly masterminded by Calcuttans that defrauded hundreds of people in Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Six persons — Suresh Gupta, a retired postal employee in Delhi, and five Tamil Nadu residents — have been arrested. The three Calcutta-based accused are absconding,

Some of the victims, who had paid Rs 4.5 lakh each to the fraudsters, lodged complaints with Southern Railway officials in Chennai with copies of fake appointment letters for Grade C and D jobs in Eastern Railway.

“The conspiracy was hatched by Gupta and three Calcuttans, Naveen Kumar, Ram Singh and Mishra, along with some Eastern Railway employees. The Calcutta cell of the CBI is assisting the investigation,” said a senior CBI official in Chennai.

“While some of us were asked to attend training in a dingy shed in Calcutta, others told us that they had appeared for an examination at a centre outside Calcutta,” said P. Viswanathan of Salem, one of the victims. He added that 18 of them were put up at a Calcutta lodge for four months from January 2012 for training though classes were held only for two weeks.

“I paid Rs 5 lakh to an agent who operated from the lodge and spent Rs 1 lakh for my stay there,” said Viswanathan, who had been given a fake appointment letter for the post of technical assistant (Grade C).

Senthil Kumar, a victim from Dharmapuri, said he had been given an appointment letter and ID card, which were taken back on the pretext that an official without authorisation had signed them. “I gave the photocopy to the CBI,” he said.

CBI sources said more than 200 people from Tamil Nadu had been cheated by the racket, operating since 2009-10. The victims from Kerala are being identified on the basis of documents seized from the arrested.

“Many candidates were taken to Bengal for a fake recruitment test. They were later told they had qualified and asked to undergo a medical examination, for which they had to cough up another Rs 20,000,” said the CBI official.

“None of our employees is involved in the racket,” claimed A.K. Behra, senior deputy general manager (vigilance), Eastern Railway.