A railway recruitment racket was busted in the State capital on Friday when the police arrested two persons from near the office of the Divisional Railway Manager, Northern Railway, here. The arrests were made when the culprits were about to hand over “appointment letters”, with the forged signature of Chief Personnel Officer, Northern Railway, Baroda House, New Delhi, to 24 candidates who were “selected” for Group D and C posts in Northern Railway. The name of the Chief Personnel Officer was not mentioned on the fake appointment letters.

The gullible young men had been asked to shell out between Rs. 90,000 to Rs. 4 lakh by the culprits for getting an appointment in the Railways.

The involvement of some railway employees in the racket has not been ruled out by a senior UP police official. According to the official, the recruitment scam purportedly has its roots in New Delhi with the kingpin, Abhijeet Mukherjee, claiming to be a railway employee. Mukherjee and other gang members are absconding.

Those arrested have been identified as Ram Prakash Tiwari and his younger brother, Piyush Tiwari. They belong to Amethi in Sultanpur district. The Additional Director General of Police ( Law and Order ), Brij Lal said here on Friday that the gang was active since the last year and had duped about 114 young men, who were given the assurance of a railway job, which never came their way as the thugs vanished with the booty.

To drive home the point that the so-called recruitment process was genuine, the “selected” candidates were made to go through a medical test at the Railway Hospital in New Delhi, Mr. Lal said. He added the those duped by the scamsters told the police that they were charged Rs. 5000 each by Abhijeet Mukherjee before the medical tests were conducted. Mr. Lal said the railway authorities have been informed of the development as chances of some employees being involved in the racket cannot be ruled out.

In fact, the fake appointment letters were computerised suggesting that the culprits had taken foolproof measures to avoid being detected for fraud. They had inserted advertisements in some small newspapers to lure the unemployed youths into their trap. The latest catch comes close on the heels of the arrest of two persons from the Charbagh railway station in Lucknow recently for their involvement in a railway recruitment racket. In that case the “selected” candidates had undergone medical tests at a Kolkata hospital.

Not ignoring the possibility of the involvement of the same gang in the racket, Mr. Lal said the kingpin, Abhijeet Mukherjee, made frequent trips to Kolkata. Efforts are underway to arrest him.