CBI's nationwide raids on the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) premises and subsequent arrests of an IG and a DIG yesterday have exposed a nexus of “middlemen and top officials” in carrying out illegal recruitment of security personnel in the country.
Investigations into the scam have so far revealed that candidates who did not meet the prescribed physical standards and other criteria were recruited in the force in connivance with certain top-ranking officers, who allegedly received illegal gratification.
“The IG and DIG have confessed that they were approached by touts for selecting candidates, who were willing to pay the bribes. In most cases, money was taken at every stage of the selection process, including physical tests, written and interviews,” the officials said. In some cases, however, the money was returned to the candidates who could not clear the tests.
Yesterday, after carrying out the raids, the CBI arrested six persons, including CRPF IG (Bihar sector) Pushkar Singh, DIG (Muzzafarpur Group Centre) T.L. Baxla and commandants Yadvendra Singh and B.S. Sidhu. The agency also nabbed kingpin Mukesh Kumar and his wife Swati Bhardwaj for their alleged involvement.
While the IG was arrested in Patna, DIG Baxla in Ranchi (Jharkhand), outgoing commandant (Jamshedpur) Yadvendra Singh in Yamunanagar (Haryana) and commandant (Daltenganj) Sidhu in New Delhi. Sidhu was arrested by a CBI team in Delhi while he was in the process of receiving money from one of the touts.
The CBI is also investigating whether there was any role of other top CRPF officers in this scam. CBI officials told HT that IG Pushkar Singh – one of the frontrunners to be promoted in the rank of the Additional Director General — was allegedly involved in the 2007 CRPF recruitment scam in Bihar as well.
CBI teams conducted raids on the offices and houses of several senior CRPF officers in Delhi, Bihar, Jharkhand, Haryana and UT Chandigarh, and seized incriminating documents, property papers and cash worth Rs 25 lakh. The agency had also recovered Rs 53 lakh cash from the premises of a tout allegedly linked to the IG.