Trying to unravel what could be one of the biggest recruitment scams in the paramilitary forces, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday conducted nationwide raids on Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) premises.
It rounded up several top officers, including an Inspector General (IG) in Bihar, for questioning.
CBI teams swooped down on the offices and houses of a number of senior CRPF officials in Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Punjab and Haryana, and seized incriminating documents, besides Rs 78 lakh in cash.
According to sources, after searching the premises of IG (Bihar sector) Pushkar Singh, the agency seized Rs 25 lakh and several property documents. Rs 53 lakh were seized from the premises of a ‘tout’ allegedly linked to the IG.
The CBI raided the premises of the CRPF DIG in Patna, T.L. Baxla, and a few commandant-rank officers. Documents related to recruitment were also seized.
The raids, conducted after an FIR was registered in Patna two days ago, were on at the time of filing this report.
The CBI is expected to formally arrest many officials as well as others in the case.
The sources said the CBI decided to conduct the operation after preliminary investigation showed about 700 candidates, who did not meet the prescribed physical standards and other criteria, were recruited in the force with the connivance of certain top-ranking officers who allegedly received bribes.
“They accepted bribes at every stage of selection, including physical tests and interviews,” said an official. “The scam could run into several crores.”
Over two months ago, in Lucknow, the agency had raided the premises of a CRPF DIG and a head constable who had allegedly received bribes for the recruitment of constables.
Head constable B.B. Chaubey, who was arrested after the raids, later made startling disclosures.