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Dummies for police jobs

Calcutta police have blown the lid off a second examination scam after the JEE paper leak, this time in their own backyard.

Five of the constables inducted into the police ranks after a recruitment drive at Konnagar, in Hooghly, in January had not even turned up for the mandatory tests.

They were all represented by dummy candidates provided by two disgraced policemen who lost their jobs in 2006 and have since been fraudulently operating as job agents, deputy commissioner (detective department) Jawed Shamim said on Monday.

Four of the selected youths were undergoing training at the Police Training School in the city and would have been commissioned soon had the fifth not been caught.

When Debasis Manna went to the police headquarters at Lalbazar a fortnight ago to collect his appointment letter from the central reserve office, officers there noticed a stark difference between his physical appearance and the profile mentioned in his papers.

An investigation led to the arrest of the other four — Tanmoy Roy, Sanjay Prasad, Aniruddha Mahapatra and Subhasis Das.

“All of them had joined the force through dummy candidates. We are now looking for the two racketeers, Bappa and Gopal Das, who masterminded the fraud. Our investigation has revealed that money changed hands,” Shamim said.

A senior officer at Lalbazar said Bappa and Gopal had joined the force as constables, but were dismissed from service in 2006 for violating police norms.

“After being shunted out, the duo started luring youths applying for recruitment to the constabulary. They promised to get them entry into the force by providing dummy candidates in exchange for money. We have information that they asked for Rs 1.5-3 lakh from each candidate.”

Detectives are investigating whether Bappa and Gopal have links with anyone in the department.

A senior officer at Hare Street police station, where the case has been registered, said Manna had confessed to paying the duo Rs 50,000. Another Rs 1 lakh was to be given once he formally joined the force.

“On probing the selection process, we discovered that four others had got in fraudulently as well.”

All five have been remanded in police custody till May 9.

Investigators believe some more constables paid money to the racketeers to get jobs.

An official of the Police Training School said 330 applicants made the grade this year and were being trained together till the investigation team unearthed the fraud.

An applicant for a constable’s job is required to go through a physical test, a written examination and viva-voce before selection.

Shamim said his department was verifying the credentials of all the recruits to identify those who might have got into the constabulary through dubious means.

“We are taking this very seriously and a thorough probe is under way.”

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