THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Army and the City police have launched parallel investigations into an incident where at least nine young men posing as Malayalees applied and attended the army recruitment rally which is under way here.
Army officers seized bogus Aadhaar and domicile certificates from two of the youngsters who were nabbed late on Sunday night during document verification. According to the army authorities, the duo who held Aadhaar cards showing them to be from Kollam district, actually belong to UP. The recruiting officers grew suspicious when it became apparent they had poor grasp of the Malayalam language. They have since been turned over to the Poojappura police and they will be produced before the magistrate on Monday, officers said.
"The two men had cleared the physical tests and during the interview, recruiting officers discovered the documents submitted by them are forged. On further quizzing it emerged they are from UP and a group of nine candidates with fake Aadhaar cards had applied online for the rally," a defence spokesperson said.
Sources said the nine youngsters had reportedly paid Rs 3 lakh to a tout for forging the documents. A manhunt is on to track him down. They further said three of these aspirants had failed to clear the physical tests held in the morning. Two had cleared the physicals, but their cover was blown during the interview. Efforts are on to trace the rest of the group.
The 10-day army recruitment rally, for the seven southern districts, began at the Colachel Stadium at the Pangode Military Station on April 18. It were the candidates from Kollam and Thiruvananthapuram districts who appeared for selection on Saturday. In recent years, the applications are filed online by the candidates and 30,000 aspirants had applied online for the rally in Thiruvananthapuram.
After the interview with the candidates, the Army Recruiting Office sends the documents to the local police station, education board and sports authorities concerned for another round of vetting. The present incident has put the recruiting officers on extra alert, but the rally will progress as planned, a defence spokesperson said.