Odisha crime branch finds UP board links in fake certificate scam
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Crime Branch, which is probing the postal recruitment scam, has found the prime accused to be linked with Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Sikhya Parishad employees for procuring certificates and cheating in the verification process.
Sources said the agency initially suspected prime suspect Manoj Mishra of printing fake certificates and mark sheets in the state. As the postal recruitment scam has pan-India links, separate teams of the crime branch recently visited UP, Delhi, Punjab and Jharkhand.
Sources said the agency has now received information about officials of the UP Madhyamik Sikhya Parishad who are in cahoots with Mishra. However, they are yet to ascertain whether the board’s officials are at junior or senior levels of management who are said to be in touch with Mishra.
“There is a strong suspicion that whenever any certificate or mark sheet is sent to UP for verification, some board officials return the documents to Mishra,” sources said. Mishra’s contacts managed to get the forged documents before they were verified by the concerned officials of the board. The fake documents were then sent back to the postal department in the state with the genuine tag. Sources said the crime branch team may return to Uttar Pradesh as part of the investigation.
After the postal department started verifying the certificates of applicants for various Gram Dak Seva (GDS) posts in Balangir district, 37 candidates were found to have scored very high marks in various subjects. All these candidates have provided certificates from the UP board, prompting officials to flag the cases.
Around 1,500 to 2,000 fake certificates from various boards of secondary education and universities in the states of Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Rajasthan and Sikkim were seized from Mishra.
Sources said he sold the fake certificates for Rs 50,000 to Rs 5 lakh to job aspirants in Balangir, Bargarh, Kalahandi, Boudh, Sonepur, Dhenkanal and other parts of the country. Balangir Police had earlier arrested at least 19 people including Mishra and his associate Alok Udgata.
In Odisha, more than 1,100 candidates were selected by the Department of Posts for GDS posts, where no written/viva tests were conducted for the posts of Branch Postmaster, Assistant Postmaster and Doc Sevak and only 10th class marks were the eligibility.