PSI Recruitment Scam: Key accused Divya Hagaragi arrested
The alleged mastermind of the police sub-inspector (PSI) recruitment scam, Divya Hagaragi, a BJP leader from Kalaburagi, was nabbed by CID sleuths in Pune on Friday.
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which is investigating the police sub-inspector (PSI) recruitment scam in Karnataka, has arrested BJP leader Divya Hagargi on Friday, she is said to be the main accused in the scam.
Hagaragi's arrest was announced by Karnataka Home Minister, Araga Jnanendra to media, who said that this shows the BJP's commitment to a fair probe. He added that the ruling party will not interfere in the legal process and that they will give the CID a free hand in the matter. Opposition leaders in Karnataka had previously alleged that the BJP in Karnataka has been trying to protect Hagaragi, which led to delay in her arrest.
Hoping that Divya Hagaragi's arrest will help in uncovering the entire scam, he said he is pained to see meritorious hardworking students falling victim to the malpractice. "The government is thinking of how to protect the interest of such applicants,” he told media.
Divya, 41-year-old BJP leader from Kalaburgi was the former president of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) women’s unit. She is the owner and principal of Gyan Jyoti English Medium School in Kalaburagi district, which was selected as an examination centre for the PSI recruitment exams, where PSI exams were allegedly rigged. She is accused of facilitating large-scale cheating.
After raiding her house on Monday, the CID reportedly arrested her from a hideout in Pune, Maharashtra in the early hours of Friday, after which, she is expected to be brought back to Kalaburgi, Karnataka. Her arrest comes after her husband, Rajesh Hagaragi, was nabbed two weeks ago. While Divya had managed to escape and had been on the run for about a fortnight, Rajesh has been in judicial custody.
Apart from Hagaragi, the CID has reportedly also arrested a government employee, Jyoti Patil, on Thursday, who is an alleged accomplice to a fraudster woman candidate in last year's recruitment exams. The candidate was reportedly among nearly 22 who got selected for PSI posts after writing the exam at the Gyan Jyothi School run by Hagaragi and her husband.
Sources in the CID have told media that Hagaragi's arrest was assisted by Jyoti Patil, who works in Shahabad Municipal Corporation. Patil was reportedly in touch with one of the people accompanying Hagaragi in her hideout in Pune, which led to the leak of their location.
Another woman, identified as Archana, who works as a teacher at the Gyan Jyoti English Medium School, was also arrested by CID, while three other people, who were with them at the hideout, have also been detained, The Hindu reported. CID officials are now working to ascertain the identities and involvement (if any) of the other three people in the PSI scam, according to the report.
The CID have also arrested a prominent Maharashtra businessman, Suresh Katgaon on Thursday night for allegedly sheltering Hagaragi in Pune. The gang, consisting of Hagaragi, Katgaon and two teachers including Archana, who were invigilators at the PSI exam, were all tracked down on Thursday night.
What is the PSI Scam?
Several candidates writing the PSI recruitment exam for the 545 sub-inspector posts held in October last year allegedly used means of fraud to score well.
Six rank winners among 12 have been arrested for fraud in the recruitment exams. The scam first came to light when officials noticed that candidates who scored high all took the exam at the Kalaburagi centre. The suspicion, that a fraud has taken place, was confirmed when a police officer told media that each candidate had paid Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs. 10 lakhs before the exams.
The state government then ordered a detailed probe into the matter and handed the case over to CID. Since then, Congress and BJP leaders have been head-butting and pointing fingers at one another, especially after the CID uncovered the alleged involvement of leaders from both parties in the scam.
The police have so far arrested 22 people in connection with the scam, including Hagaragi and those arrested along with her. This list also includes a block president of the Congress party for the Afzalpur region in the Kalaburagi district, R D Patil, who is said to have played a major role in the rigging of the exam.
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