CHENNAI: A retired army officer was allegedly caught red-handed accepting money from three youth who aspired to join the Army. The Army Intelligence laid a trap for the ex-serviceman and caught him in the act, a source said.
The accused, S Jayakumar, aged 52 and retired from the Army as a Subedar-Major in 2015, was surrounded by the Army Intelligence officers at the Thiruvananthapuram railway station as he accepted cash handed over to him by three youth, an an Army officer privy to the case told Express.
“He retired from the medical department and had served in the Army for nearly 30 years. He had demanded Rs 3 lakh from each of the candidates to get them recruited as jawans,” the officer said.
A resident of Peyad, a suburb of Kerala’s capital city, Jayakumar is said to have contacted four youth, who hail from the Alleppey district, through an auto driver. “The driver noticed the youth regularly undergoing physical training at a ground and approached them. He convinced the youngsters that he know a former army office Jayakumar, who had a lot of influence in the Army and could get them selected if they were willing to pay Rs 5 lakh,” the officer said.
On meeting them, Jayakumar offered to reduce the amount to Rs 3 lakh. “He advised them to put special symbols like ‘om’ in the answer sheets,” the officer said. The Army Intelligence found something amiss when these four youth took the written test in July. On questioning, they found out about Jayakumar involved in cheating such aspirants who were trying to join the army.
Out of the four candidates, three had qualified in the exams on their own merit. But to catch Jayakumar, the Army Intelligence officers decided a set a trap and asked the three selected candidates to contact Jayakumar offering to pay him Rs 9 lakh. When Jayakumar reached the Thiruvananthapuram railway station around 3 pm today, he was caught red-handed by the sleuths, according to the source.
Jayakumar is being questioned at the Thampanoor police station and further investigations are on.