FIR filed against three clerks, they go missing
After the arrest of two persons in dummy students’ rackets in October, the Cantonment police had sent to the university a list of 28 examination seat numbers whose marks were fraudulently increased during re-evaluation in the examination department. Police had told the university that the information emerged during interrogation of arrested suspects.
In response, the university had set up a three-member fact-finding committee which had recommended an FIR to be registered against three exam department clerks. Senior police inspector Ajay Kadam of Chatuhshrungi police station said an FIR was registered by Sampada Joshi, the controller of examination. Police said the complaint has named three clerks from the exam department — Ashok Ranawade, Ramesh Shelar and Chetan Parbhane.
Kadam said teams have been formed for the search of the three suspects, who have been booked under Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the IPC. Assistant inspector Mahesh Bolkotgi is the investigating officer.
Ranawade and Shelar stay at University staff quarters. On Monday, The Indian Express found Ranawade’s house locked while Shelar’s wife was alone in the house. Ranawade’s neighbours said Ranawade, his wife and two kids left the house on Friday night without informing anyone. Their vehicles, two motorbikes and a bicycle, were parked in front of the house, denoting a hasty exit.
Shelar’s wife said she was staying alone since Shelar left on Friday and said she was not aware of his whereabouts and refused to share his contact number.
While the allegation are being made that someone in the know of committee recommendations might have alerted the trio, prompting them to flee, the Vice-Chancellor denied the charge. “It can’t be said that we alerted them. People knew about the report and its content as it was published in the media. I never spoke about the content of the report... Awasthi (probe committee chairman) spoke to media. If they have disappeared, it’s the job of the police to find them,” said Gade.
“We got the report on December 13 and from next day we started the process of registering complaint with the police. We also sent the suspension letter to their homes in the evening, but by then they were already gone,” said Gade.
No delay in filing FIR, says V-C
While the Chatuhshrungi police station registered an FIR against the three accused on Monday, Vice-Chancellor W N Gade maintained that there was no delay in filing a case on part of the university. The case came to light two months ago on October 6 when the Cantonment Police was investigating a dummy students’ racket case in Poona College. Gade said he was quick to form a probe panel when the racket came to light. "Nobody had asked me to form a committee. But we constituted one on our own to probe if the racket had anything to do with the university. This was when there was no re-evaluation angle to it. When the re-evaluation issue came to light, we asked the same committee to probe it. The Cantonment police never asked us to lodge a criminal complaint," said Gade. "The committee submitted its report on Decmeber 13. We suspended the officers the next day and started the process to file the complaint as per the recommendations. There was no delay," Gade said, adding that the committee was asked to investigate all the aspects, including involvement of other staff or faculty members.
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