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Army paper leak case: Lt. Col. sent to judicial custody in Yerawada jail

The lieutenant colonel-rank officer, who was arrested in the case of paper leak, was sent to Yerawada central jail on magisterial custody after his police custody ended on Friday
By Shalaka Shinde, Pune
PUBLISHED ON MAY 29, 2021 10:08 PM IST

The lieutenant colonel-rank officer, who was arrested in the case of paper leak, was sent to Yerawada central jail on magisterial custody after his police custody ended on Friday. The police are now on a lookout for two other people in the case who paid a major chunk of the money that exchanged hands before and after the raid.

The arrested officer lieutenant colonel Bhagatpreetsingh Sartajsingh Bedi (44) has, therefore, joined major Thiru Murugan Thangavelu (47); major Vasant Vijay Kilari (45), Vira Prasad Kotiswamy Narnepati (41) from Delhi cantonment, Kishore Mahadev Giri (40), Malegaon in Baramati; Madhav Sheshrao Gitte (38) a resident of Sappers vihar colony in Pune; another accused called Bharat Lakshman Adakmol (37) from Pachora, Pune; Gopal Yuvraj Koli (31) a resident of BEG Centre in Dighi; and Uday Dattu Auti (23) a resident of BEG Khadki - all in Wanowrie case - and Ali Akhtar Khan (47), Azad Lalmohammed Khan (37) and Mahendra Chandrabhan (37) - in Vishrantwadi case - in the central jail of Pune.

“The two phones which were used for transmitting the questions were destroyed and disposed of by the two. However, we have the call detail record (CDR) of the two numbers and enough evidence in all to see the investigation through. Now, they’re all in magisterial custody. Our crime branch officers and complete co-ordination of the army authorities had led to this investigation. The crime DCP (Srinivas Ghadage) maintained personal contact and follow-up with the army authorities to ensure access,” said Laxman Borate, assistant commissioner of police, crime, Pune police.

The public prosecutor in the case was Premkumar Agarwal while the defence lawyer was Sudhir Shah. Advocate Shah had said that the accused had agreed to extended custody.

He was arrested in the cheating and paper leak case registered at Wanowrie police station which is one of the two cases that were registered after the initial raids. The other case is registered at Vishrantwadi police station. A case under Sections 420, 409, 34 of Indian Penal Code, Sections 6 and 7 of Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University Board and Other Specified Examination Act, 1982; Sections 7, 12, and 13 of Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 (2018 Amendment) and Section 66(c) of Information Technology Act at Wanowrie police station.

Narnepati had allegedly received 7, 00,000 and had paid 3, 00,000 from it to Lt Col Bedi for the paper and returned 4, 00,000 to the two others wanted in the case, according to ACP Borate.

The investigation had led to a statement of support from the commander of Indian Army’s Southern Command, Lt Gen JS Nain on May 26.

“Lt Gen JS Nain, army commander, Southern Command has issued strict instructions to all the station commanders in the area of responsibility to assist in the ongoing investigations. He has instituted proactive measures to enable early completion of the investigations,” read a statement from the defence spokesperson.

The statement also pointed out that the investigation began due to an initial tip-off by the sources inside Indian Army about leak of question paper for soldier recruitment entrance test that was to be held at 40 centres across the country for 30,000 aspirants on February 28.

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