Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Deogarh, Apr 15:
A day before the final interview for the post of foresters, vigilance sleuths have busted a fake recruitment racket after the arrest of two persons from Odisha’s Angul and Budhapal for allegedly collecting money from the aspirants assuring them of government jobs.
The accused identified as Pramod Pradhan (37), said to be the kingpin, was arrested from Angul and his associate Manoj Sahu (26) was apprehended from Budhapal.
Acting on complaints, the anti-corruption wing officials laid a trap and pounced on him while he was accepting Rs 10, 000 thinking it to be Rs 1 lakh from a candidate.
A complainant, Narahari Bhoi, from Mohinipur village in Deogarh district had filed a complaint with the vigilance after the duo approached him at his village a couple of days back and told him that his son, Jashobant Bhoi, has been shortlisted for the final round interview for the post of forester. The cons assured him of the job if they pay them Rs 3 lakh.
A special squad comprising Deogarh Vigilance DSP Rabinarayan Patra, Bargarh DSP Laxminarayan Panda, Bolangir DSP Abhiram Kar, Sonepur DSP Laxman Ja, Inspector Abhay Pradhan and ASI Bijay Pradhan was formed on the instruction of Sambalpur Vigilance SP Jaynarayan Pankaj.
The team swooped on the suspects and arrested them red-handed while accepting money.
Notably, 76 applicants were shortlisted for the final round for the post of forester against five vacancies. The final round interview was slated to be held today.
The officials say, the chain of the racket spreads from Deogarh DFO office to Bhubaneswar.
Earlier, the vigilance department had received numerous complaints about irregularities in the recruitment of forest guards and foresters in Odisha Forest Development Corporation’s kendu leaf division.
Out of 1911 applicants, 376 candidates were called for interview for the post of forest guards of which 22 were selected.
Meanwhile, the DFO said the exams will be conducted as per schedule, when contacted.
The kingpin of the fake recruitment racked, Pramod Pradhan, was earlier working as medicine representative.
During the course of time, he came in contact with one Dhaneswar Palei residing in Bhubaneswar. The latter introduced him to a DFO who use to give him vital information related to the examinations, including the scores of the candidates.
Pramod used to contact the successful candidates and strike a deal with them.
Meanwhile, the vigilance officials are trying to trace the network of the job scam and identify possible involvement of others in it.