The mandatory formal education qualification for election to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) has spawned a new business in the state: making fake mark-sheets and certificates for class 8 for anything between Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 50,000. The Sikar police have busted a racket involved in this business and have arrested two persons Ashok Kabra and Babulal, both residents of Sikar, after a decoy approached them for one such mark-sheet.
Sikar superintendent of police Dr Ravi said they had been getting information about people making fake mark-sheets and certificates to candidates who didn’t have formal education to be eligible for sarpanch election. The government has recently made class 8 pass as mandatory educational qualification for sarpanch elections.
“We sent a decoy to Alok Bal Shikshan Sansthan in Pink House lane in the city. He finalised a deal for Rs. 40,000 for class 8 certificate. We raided the place on Wednesday evening and busted the gang,” Dr Ravi added.
Police found a large number of seals of school principals and district education officers (DEOs) at the institute. There were bundles of paper on which mark-sheets and certificates of Rajasthan Board of Secondary Education are printed, and many certificates and mark-sheets.
“They have confessed to having sold these certificates to nine persons, but looking at the raw material that we seized, it seems to be a statewide racket involving more people and having sold many more certificates,” the Sikar SP said. Dr Ravi said interrogation will reveal more facts about the gang.