Odisha: 21 Arrests So Far, Accused Charged Up To Rs 5 Lakh For ‘Fake’ Certificates Of 41 Varsities

Bhubaneswar: The arrests in fake educational certificate racket for postal jobs in Odisha’s Balangir district touched 21, which included 19 job aspirants, owner of a coaching centre and a computer teacher, on Monday.

Besides Rs 3.67 lakh in cash, police seized 1000 duplicate certificates of 41 reputed universities, verification reports, seals, diaries and rubber stamps, mobile phones, bank accounts, land documents during the raid on ‘Reliance Education Institute’, which is being said to be the epicentre of the racket.

Speaking to the media, Balangir SP Nitin Kushalkar said that the seized certificates were almost identical copies of the original with properly printed holograms and logos. “Preliminary investigation revealed that the owner of the institute, Manoj Mishra, had links with some lower rank employees of these educational institutions. The diaries contain estimates, accounts, information regarding money transactions,” he said.

“Crores of rupees have been illegally made and used for buying lands. A special team has been formed to probe the matter as it is a sensitive case. The arrested job aspirants will be produced in court today,” Kushalkar informed.

The racket came to the fore after postal authorities found discrepancies in mark sheets and certificates submitted by applicants, seeking appointment to 83 posts of branch post manager (BPM), assistant BPM and daak sevak. At least 37 job aspirants had produced fake mark sheets and certificates obtained from Jhansi in Uttar Pradesh. While these applicants had scored above 98 per cent and one 99 per cent in English, they reportedly flunked the English test conducted by the department on Thursday. When questioned, one student confessed that she had purchased her board examination certificate by paying Rs 50,000.

The SP further said the accused had been running the racket for the last eight to ten years. “Many job aspirants had illegally acquired jobs by producing fake certificates from the particular coaching centre. The accused were charging Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2 lakh per certificate/mark sheet and it would sometimes go up to around Rs 5 lakh depending on the need of the aspirants,” the police officer added.

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