They arrived based on a report in a Kannada daily, but found that Bagalkot was not listed

More than 60 youths who came from Bagalkot district to take fitness test for sepoy GD (General Duty) in the army recruitment rally at Mangala Stadium here on Monday had to return home disappointed.

News report

They arrived here based on a report that appeared in a popular Kannada daily that the recruitment was open for 11 districts, including Bagalkot. But they learnt on arrival here that Bagalkot was not one of the districts listed.

Disappointed

Bhimappa Bargi was among the 12 youth from Kulali in Mudhol taluk of the district who had to spend Rs. 450 to reach here at 1 a.m.

They waited till day break only to be turned down saying people from Bagalkot will have to go Bangalore sometime later.

Siddappa Y. Goudar of Somankoppa in Badami taluk was among those who reached at 2 a.m. spending Rs. 350 only to be “thrown out” of the stadium.

Hanumanth H. Walikar said he and his friends had been practising for the last one year to improve fitness for the sepoy post.

“We have been doing pull ups and running regularly,” he said.

Harsh treatment

A number of aspirants had to face the harsh words from army officers at the screening centre. “Chal hath (get lost)” were the common words for those who did not qualify but expressed their disappointment.

Some youths complained that although they were eligible they were not allowed to take the test for other posts but officers.

When The Hindu brought this to the notice of an officer, he immediately arranged for the screening of about 30 youths. At least five candidates who had been asked to go away got a chance to face fitness tests.

Army officers screening the candidates said it was common for them to see candidates from districts not listed coming to the recruitment rally. An officer even made light of it saying “they would have come here for some other purpose and may want to take some chance.”

Not responsible

On being told that they had a clipping of a newspaper with them, he said the Defence force could hardly be held responsible for the news published.

Verify information

An officer of the rank of Colonel said aspirants should cross check information with sainik welfare boards, district information offices or Deputy Commissioner's offices before reaching the rally.

The schedule could not be changed now, he said.

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