Durgapur, Oct. 2: A fake Madhyamik marksheets racket was busted with the arrest of kingpin Manabendra Das and three others from Dhanbad in neighbouring Jharkhand.
Police had begun a probe after it was found during admission interviews last August that these marksheets were being widely used to join the Industrial Training Institute (ITI) here.
Sanjib Chakraborty, 20, Bijoy Singh, 22, and Manoj Prasad, 20, were held with Das from the Railway Colony for procuring the fake documents. They had gained admission to the institute with those marksheets.
The ITI authorities sniffed a rat last August when they found several candidates with high scores trying to join an institute that grants diplomas. Suspicious, they sent 163 marksheets to the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education for verification. When the board confirmed that 153 of those were fake, the ITI lodged a complaint with the New Township police station.
Police said Das acted as a liaison between clients who were willing to pay anything between Rs 1,500 and 4,000 for documents and the forgers. He is believed to have delivered 500 fakes in the past couple of years.
Most of his clients were from districts adjoining Jharkhand — Burdwan, Bankura and Purulia. The marksheets were also used to get jobs as primary school teachers.
The Burdwan district primary school teachers’ council has expelled 59 teachers who had got jobs with fake papers in Bengali-medium schools. The council has also issued notices to 16 teachers in Hindi-medium schools. While one teacher turned up with the false documents and was expelled, the others failed to approach the council within the deadline of September 27.