In a joint operation on Saturday night, Military Intelligence (MI) unit and Pune police’s crime branch arrested two ex-servicemen and a civil defence cook for leaking a question paper. Some more arrests are expected as raids continued in three other districts, a police officer said.
“We cross-checked and found that the question paper that was circulated on WhatsApp matched with the original question paper,” Pune police commissioner Amitabh Gupta told TOI.
“Around 1,000 aspirants from Pune and adjoining districts had reported for the test but, on getting instructions, we had to cancel the exam. A fresh date for the exam will be announced by the Directorate of Army Recruitment,” an Army officer said.
This is the second instance since 2017 when a pan-India Army recruitment exam had to be cancelled. The modus operandi, too, was similar; job aspirants were contacted with a promise of 100% recruitment against payment in the range of Rs 2 lakh and Rs 5 lakh. The suspect would collect original documents from aspirants with an assurance of returning the same once they clear the exam and get selected, police said.
When contacted, Army’s director general (recruiting) Lt Gen Pradeep C Nair said, “We will investigate every aspect of the matter.” Asked if a court of inquiry has been ordered, he said, “The matter has come to the fore only today. We will take a decision on this soon.” Ganesh Salunke, 21, an aspirant from Sangli, lodged an FIR after police contacted him following the arrest of ex-servicemen Ali Akhtar and Mahendra Sonawane, and Azad Khan, a civil defence cook.