Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Fake certificate racket seems to have spread out its roots in different districts of Odisha including Phulbani. As many as six candidates, who had applied for jobs in the postal department for 85 branch post offices in the district, were found to have submitted fake educational certificates.

After the fraud came to light, the Superintendent of Bolangir postal division has filed a complaint against the six candidates, who have submitted fake educational certificates, at the police station.

As per reports, an advertisement was issued for recruitment to the posts of branch postmaster (BMP) and Assistant Branch Postmaster (ABPM) in different branch post offices of Phulbani district for which the minimum educational qualification was Matriculation. All the appointment process was conducted online. However, during the scrutiny of the educational certificates, it was found that six candidates have submitted fake certificates. While five of those candidates have submitted fake certificates from Allahabad Board, another submitted a fake certificate from a National Open University.

Meanwhile, based on the complaint, Phulbani police registered a case and started an investigation into the incident.

In another startling development, it has been revealed that four candidates have already landed postmaster jobs by submitting fake educational certificates. However, following the arrest of the mastermind of the racket, Manoj Mishra, those candidates are on the run. The Superintendent of Bolangir postal division has filed a complaint against them at the police station. But, their identities are yet to be ascertained.

Odisha Police have started an investigation to find out if any other candidates have got jobs by submitting fake certificates. Meanwhile, the process has already started to freeze the account of prime accused Mishra. Police are also trying to trace other persons who have links with Mishra in this connection. A police team will go outside the State for more investigation.

Notably, police have already arrested 19 persons including the mastermind of the racket who had been selling such fake mark sheets for anything between Rs 50,000 and Rs 5 lakh.

Raising the issue in the State Assembly during the Zero Hour on Tuesday, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja alleged that some BJD leaders have links with the fake certificate racket.

“Future of meritorious students in the State has been pushed into darkness as thousands of candidates have got jobs by submitting fake certificates through the racket which has spread out its roots in different districts,” said Saluja.

“Some BJD leaders have links with the racket as members of BJD’s IT cell have been arrested in this connection,” he added.

Saluja demanded before the Speaker of the House that the culprits should be booked under the National Security Act (NSA).

However, the reaction of BJD over Saluja’s allegations could not be obtained.