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CBI books official, beneficiaries in defence recruitment scam




Two years after taking over the case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has filed an FIR in the Kanpur defence recruitment scam, officials said on Monday.

The case has been filed against Santosh Kumar Tiwari, Deputy Controller in the Material Division of the Controllerate of Quality Assurance CQA(M), who was the presiding officer of the recruitment board and beneficiaries Ravi Kant Pandey, Utkarsh Srivatsava, Arti Gupta, Pratibha Mishra and Arpit Singh and other unknown persons.

The officials in Kanpur had organised a recruitment drive for six posts of Lower Division Clerk (LDC) in the Directorate General of Quality Assurance which comes under the Union Ministry of Defence. For this purpose, advertisements were issued in 2015 and appointments were made in 2017.

An internal inquiry committee headed by Brigadier Sudhindra Itnal had found serious irregularities in the recruitment process. Following the submission of a report in this regard, the recruitment board itself was dissolved by the competent authority and the services of the appointed LDCs were terminated on November 28, 2018.

In a letter to the CBI on August 10, 2018, the Department of Defence Production (DDP) mentioned “serious irregularities” of a criminal nature concerning the appointment of six LDCs in 2016 by the now-dissolved recruitment board in Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur. This letter was sent to the apex investigative agency on the orders of Minister of State for Defence, Subhash Bhamre who acted on the advice of the Central Vigilance Commission.

The official said the agency had done a preliminary enquiry against Tiwari, Sunil Kumar, SSO-II, CQA (M) Kanpur (member) and Mohammad Alim, AE (QA), SQAE (GS), Kanpur (Member) and Colonel A.K. Gandhi, Joint Controller, CQA (M), CQA (GS) and CQA (T&C), Kanpur in 2020.

In the preliminary enquiry, it was revealed that an advertisement for filing four posts of the LDCs in CQA (M) Kanpur was published in various newspapers. Later on the number of posts were increased from four to six, including three for the general category, one each for the OBC, SC and Physically Handicapped (PH) category in March 2015.

It was also revealed that 4,181 candidates had applied for the said post out of which 952 candidates were found eligible for the written test.

It said that on June 22, 2016, a Board of Officers was constituted by C. Devakinandan, Controller Kanpur to conduct the recruitment for the said posts. It said that the board comprised Tiwari, Neha Agarwal, a Scientist, Sunil Kumar and Mohammad Alim.

It further said that a written test was held on June 26, 2016 in which a total of 517 candidates appeared. “After completion of the written examination, the invigilators had collected the answer sheets and submitted the same in the room of Tiwari in an unsealed condition which was against the rule,” it alleged.

“In the enquiry it was also revealed that answer sheets were evaluated by the BOO under the supervision of Tiwari in his room and Agarwal who was an external member was not called for the same,” the official said.

He also said that on the basis of the evaluation of the answer sheets, 110 candidates were qualified for the typing test, out of which only 95 appeared for the same on September 28, 2016.

“The PH candidates were exempted from the typing test. Total 54 candidates and two PH candidates were qualified for the same post and a final merit list was published by DGQA website on November 25, 2016. Out of six selected candidates, five candidates joined their duties whereas one candidate Vivek Chandra did not join as he was selected elsewhere,” the official said.

“Investigation further revealed that there were manipulations done in the selection process by Tiwari, who altered the marks obtained by candidates at the time of rechecking,” the official said, adding that Tiwari, was also involved in evaluation of answer sheets of written exam wherein he evaluated overwritten answer sheets in contravention of the instructions of the DGCA.

“The alteration was done by Tiwari and some of the answers of the selected candidates were also changed by him after the evaluation. The answer sheets were rechecked by Tiwari and during rechecking he altered the final marks of the candidates without the knowledge of concerned invigilators,” the official alleged.

The preliminary enquiry further found that Arpit Singh, who got selected under the PH quota did not have the requisite handicapped certificate at the time of submission of the application as well as on June 26, 2016 the day of written exam and he obtained the same on August 27, 2016.

“Since, he had not submitted the certificate at the time of applying the post, he should not be eligible for the written test and exemption from the typing under PH category and his selection should be void ab-initio,” the FIR alleged, which has been viewed by IANS.

In the FIR, it said, investigation also revealed that one of the selected candidates Vivek Chandra had originally scored 52 marks which were subsequently changed to 61, similarly marks obtained by another selected candidates Arpit Singh were increased from 58 to 69 and marks obtained by selected candidate Arti Gupta was increased from 68 to 70 by Tiwari during the rechecking.

“Probe further highlighted that there was overwriting in the answer sheet of Arpit Singh in case of several answers and there was overwriting in the answer sheet of another selected candidate Pratibha Mishra, Utkarsh Srivatsava. These candidates were clearly favoured by Tiwari,” the FIR alleged.

“Even the other members of the board Sunil Kumar, Mohammad Alim who had evaluated the answer sheets, stated during the CBI enquiry that they were neither overwritten on the answer sheets nor altered the final scores of the selected candidates,” the FIR said.

“They stated that the said alteration or over writing was done by Tiwari and some of the answers of the selected candidates were edited by Tiwari after the evaluation,” the FIR stated, adding that the role of Sunil Kumar and Mohammad Alim did not surface during the enquiry.

“During the probe it was also found that Ravi Kant Pandey is a relative of H.N. Tiwari, Pratibha Mishra is daughter of Om Prakash Mishra, Staff of COD, Cantonment Kanpur and daughter-in-law of P.P. Dwivedi, the then security officer, CQA(M), Kanpur,” it said.

It was found that another candidate Utkarsh Srivatsava is the son of Sunil Srivatsava, who retired as office superintendent of SQAE (Armament), Kanpur, the FIR alleged.


Ankita Bhandari’s body found from Uttarakhand’s Chilla canal




The body of Ankita Bhandari, a 19-year-old staffer at a resort in Uttarakhand who went missing a few days ago, was recovered from the Chilla canal in the state on Saturday and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has ordered an SIT probe led by DIG P. Renuka Devi to probe the murder.

The prime accused in the case is BJP leader Vinod Arya’s son Pulkit Arya.

Ankita, a resident of Dobhin Srikot, who used to work in the Vantara resort in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal. She went missing on September 18.

The BJP has removed Vinod Arya as well as his other son Ankit following the incident.

Taking to Twitter, Dhami poste:, “Today morning, daughter Ankita’s body was recovered. Heart-broken with this heart-wrenching incident.”

On directions of the Chief Minister, the JCB razed to ground accused’s illegal resort on Friday night.

Strict action will be taken against the officers who were involved in the illegal construction of the resort, Dhami said.

“It is our resolve that the those guilty of this heinous crime will bot be spared,” he added.

Ankita’s family had lodged a missing complaint on September 21 with the revenue police and on the District Magistrate’s direction, the matter was trasferred to regular police the next day.

Taking cognisance of the incident, Ashok Kumar, Director General of Police, Uttarakhand, had directed the Superintendent of Police, Pauri for a speedy investigation into the incident.

Following their arrest, they told the police that after murdering Ankita, they threw her body in Chila Shakti canal.

Under the guidance of DGP Uttarakhand, the SDRF started search for Ankita in Shakti Canal, Chila Power House.

SDRF rescue team has been searching the spot and the deep divers were also looking for the body in the bottom of the canal.

The search operation had resumed this morning during which the body was found.

The body has been handed over to the district police.

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Dozens of Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli soldiers in West Bank




 Dozens of Palestinian protesters were injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in several West Bank cities and villages.

Among the injured were three shot by live ammunition and nine by rubber bullets, while the others inhaled teargas fired by Israeli soldiers, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement on Friday.

In the village of Beita, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus, two Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated metal gunshots, and 28 others inhaled teargas, said the statement, adding Israeli soldiers opened fire at the medical crews in the area, reports Xinhua news agency.

Since May 2021, the village of Beita has been witnessing daily clashes between the two sides over the establishment of Israeli settlement outpost near the village and the confiscation of Palestinian land.

Fierce clashes also broke out in the villages of Beit Dajan and Kafr Qaddum.

Israeli authorities have not commented on the incidents yet.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, both claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war, and has controlled them ever since.

Official Palestinian reports said more than 700,000 Israeli settlers live in 151 settlements established on Palestinian lands in East Jerusalem and the West Bank since 1967.

Tension in the West Bank has been mounting over the past few days after the Israeli army intensified its military actions against Palestinian militants and activists.

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Mob attacks Muslim family after man elopes with Hindu girl in MP’s Chhindwara




The members of a Muslim family have been brutally beaten up by a mob in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district allegedly in what is being considered as “an act of revenge”.

Wajid Ali and his family members were attacked as he had eloped with a 23-year-old Hindu woman almost a month ago.

The incident which happened on September 15 came to light after a video surfaced on the social media late on Tuesday.

In the video, several people including women could be seen beating a Muslim man and his parents mercilessly.

Those attacked have been identified as Wajid Ali, 35; his father Sayed Ali, 52, and mother Sameena Ali, 48 — all residents of Lalgaon village named located around 35 km from Chhindwara.

On September 15, when Wajid and his parents were on their way to meet a relative in Auriya village, they were noticed by the villagers and were attacked.

The Chhindwara police claimed to have registered a case against the Hindu family, and also arrested four persons.

“The act came as revenge after Wajid Ali had eloped with a Hindu woman of the same village. The girl, however, was brought to her family later. When the Muslim family was noticed, some people cornered them and later attacked. An FIR has been registered and at least four persons have been arrested so far. Further investigation is underway,” a police officer said.

The police further said that Hindu woman who was brought from Hyderabad few days ago was reunited with her parents in Chhindwara.

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