Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kolkata Rail Recruitment fraud victims were surprisingly ‘trained’,’paid’

Kolkata (KOAA): The detective department made one more arrest in the fake railway and extortion racket with the arrest of one Jitendra Chowdhury from Rishra. What the cops learnt from him has left them wondering on some insider role in running the gang. Sources said the gang used to operate at different levels and had several persons acting as their field agents across four cities in south Kolkata.

According to police sources, the accused used to charge anywhere between Rs 30,000-40,000 for filling up railway interview forms. Once they were convinced by the gang to come to Kolkata, they were lodged at Naihati and Kanchrapara where they were asked to undergo some “basic General Knowledge and Mathematics training.” They would then be asked to sit for a fake exam and some of them “passed.” The gang members were handed over fake TT badges and even a month’s “salary” (from the money paid to the gang as salaami) after they passed “medical exams” from railway hospitals. They would be “assigned work” at non-descript stations and carsheds with hardly any senior railway officer even having any inkling about the gang’s activities. All this same for a price – they had to shell thousands to get the offer letter. Anyone who refused to pay them were immediately kidnapped and around Rs 4 lakh demanded from family members to free him.
“This arrested Jitendra acted as the man who arranged for the medical tests at the government hospitals,” said joint CP (crime) Pallab Kanti Ghosh. But it was one Vinod, a top college BSc Honours graduate and a fluent speaker of English who trapped the victims in Hyderabad. Cops said his arrest was important to nab the gang leader. “We have identified the gang leader and know he was arrested earlier for committing the same crime,” said Ghosh.
Detective department said that they are in touch with CBI which had busted a similar racket three years ago. “While some of us were asked to attend training in a dingy shed in Calcutta, others told us that they had appeared for an examination at a centre outside Calcutta,” said P. Viswanathan of Salem, one of the victims of 2012. He added that 18 of them were put up at a Calcutta lodge for four months from January 2012 for training though classes were held only for two weeks. CBI sources said more than 200 people from Tamil Nadu had been cheated by the racket, operating since 2009-10. There were around 60 odd candidates from Kerala too.
Two persons identified as Rajendran and Omprakash were rescued from their clutches by the detective department in this regard last week after cops traced the mobile call to a place in Kasba. On Sunday, additional raids were carried out in this regard in south suburban Kolkata. “One Manikant Reddy, residing in Hyderabad, said he received a call on June 23 from his friend who said he was in Kolkata and that he has been kidnapped. Unless Rs 4 lakh was paid to his captors, he would not be released. Reddy came down to Kolkata and lodged a complaint this Wednesday in this regard. He said the call was made from his friend’s own number


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