New Delhi: The CBI has booked 10 individuals, including a now-dismissed sepoy, in connection with a scam that allegedly defrauded candidates by promising them employment with the Army, Food Corporation of India (FCI), and Railways, PTI quoted officials as saying.

According to the CBI, the alleged mastermind, Sepoy Bablu Chauhan, who was posted at Delhi Cantt before being dismissed from service, had established a network of officials to facilitate recruitments in the Army, Territorial Army, Assam Rifles, FCI, and Eastern Railways in exchange for money.

In 2019, Chauhan learned about individuals in Gorakhpur—Virendra Kumar, Naik Deepak Thapa, and Raju Yadav among others—who had connections within the Territorial Army and could secure jobs for Rs 5.5 lakh per candidate. 

Chauhan disseminated this information through his contacts, Craftsman Akash and Ward Sahayika at Command Hospital Udhampur, Chanchala Devi, who then arranged candidates for Rs 7-8 lakh each.

The enquiry showed that he allegedly collected over Rs 1.43 crore in his and his wife’s account during 2020-22 with significant amount coming in from residents based in Udhampur, Jammu, Kota, and Jaipur where candidates were from, they said.

He transferred Rs 31 lakh to Gorakhpur-based accomplices directly or through the account of a women, they said.

Chauhan initially assured the candidates of jobs in the Territorial Army (TA) but later cited a COVID-induced freeze on recruitment as an excuse. He then claimed that they could be appointed to positions within the Food Corporation of India (FCI). Allegedly, he took some candidates to his home in Gorakhpur, where they discovered that 8-10 other candidates from Rajasthan were already staying there, hoping for jobs in the FCI.

However, when these candidates arrived at FCI Gorakhpur, they were not permitted to join.

Chauhan then made a call to Rahul Dravid, a resident of Dibhiya Dhobi Tola in Gorakhpur, in front of the candidates, falsely claiming that Dravid’s uncle was a Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) in Eastern Railways, Kolkata, and could secure jobs for them under a special quota.

“After the said call, Rahul Dravid also joined Bablu Chauhan and both of them took candidates (five from Jammu and 8-10 from Rajasthan) to Kolkata,” the FIR alleged.

The candidates were reportedly housed in Dharamtalla hotels. Chauhan took them to Kolkata Railways Hospital, where unidentified individuals collected their medical samples and issued purported medical fitness certificates signed by a Railway Recruitment Board doctor. The candidates were also provided with fake ID cards.

Chauhan informed the candidates that they had been selected for the Railways and would receive their joining letters in due course. After the candidates returned home, Chauhan contacted them again, demanding an additional Rs 2.50 lakh before joining, stating that a group D job would cost Rs 9 lakh, while a group C job would require Rs 10 lakh.

Some candidates transferred Rs 2.5 lakh to Dravid’s account, while others transferred the amount to Chauhan’s account.

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Chauhan and his accomplices created a fake website, rrcb.com, and printed counterfeit joining letters for the positions of TC and Gateman. They even set up a fake office at Fairlie Place near Babughat to issue these joining letters.

“They even printed a barcode on the forged joining letters, and when the candidates scanned the barcode on their mobiles, the fake website showed their roll numbers as selected candidates,” the FIR alleged.

Word of these appointments spread quickly in Udhampur, prompting more candidates to approach Chauhan and transfer additional funds into his account.

The candidates were taken to a fake training institute where they met two women. During this supposed training, they were asked to pay an additional Rs 2.50 lakh to receive their joining letters, the FIR alleged.

After 45 days of this so-called training, Chauhan took them to Kolkata and asked for another Rs 5 lakh for TC blazers, badges, and other formalities. The candidates, having exhausted their funds, promised to pay after receiving their first salaries.

One candidate, Pawan Kumar, retrieved his original documents and returned from Kolkata without securing a job. Similarly, Chauhan allegedly conned aspirants for Army jobs, collecting money from them, according to the FIR.

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