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Railway job racket busted

Calcutta, Dec. 7: Railway vigilance officials followed an assistant train driver from Purulia’s Adra to an apartment in Howrah and arrested four persons who had allegedly taken money from candidates with the promise of leaking question papers of a recruitment test tomorrow.

Model question papers, which also contained answers, had been distributed among 60 candidates who were picked up by officers of South Eastern Railway’s vigilance wing and police from the apartment in Howrah’s Jagacha in the early-morning raid.

Officials said the papers, which had multiple-choice questions, appeared to be of a previous recruitment test. They added that tomorrow’s exam to recruit Group D employees would be held on schedule.

The police said Rs 4.63 lakh in cash, 71 cellphones, several laptops and photocopy and fax machines were seized from the apartment. The police have detained the 60 candidates.

The police said the accused had allegedly promised the candidates that the questions of tomorrow’s exam would be distributed today. The CBI has joined the probe.

“No question papers of tomorrow’s examination were found on those arrested. The exam will be held on schedule,” said Saumitra Majumdar, the chief public relations officer of South Eastern Railway.

J.P. Gupta, the assistant driver, Monoj Singha Roy, a retired railway guard, and two others were arrested. Police sources said they had taken between Rs 5,000 and Rs 15,000 from each candidate.

“After getting off the Rupasi Bangla Express at Santragachi station, Gupta went to a private lodge and from there, to the apartment in Jagacha,” a railway official said.

The sources said the vigilance officials and the police first raided the private lodge, where a woman examinee was putting up.

“She said around 60 youths were staying at the apartment in Jagacha. She said Gupta had taken money from them on the promise of leaking the questions,” a police officer said. “We raided the apartment around 3am.”

One of the candidates said their cellphones were taken away by the accused when they tried to click pictures of the model question papers.