VIZIANAGARAM: A job racket came to light in the district, where a gang (including two government employees) duped six unemployed youths with fake government post offers. The gang, which consisted of an employee of the Ramabhadrapuram secretariat, his cousin from Bobbili, and an employee working in a department in the Vizianagaram district collectorate, duped these gullible men to a tune of Rs 12 lakhs. Interestingly no arrests have been made so far, nor was any complaint registered, even as the signatures of the District Collector and other government employees were forged on these fake orders.
The accused started collecting money from these unemployed men under the impression that though these jobs were usually given on the basis of merit, they would still get it if they paid money as he knew a person in the Panchayati Raj department.
In this manner, Rs 12 lakh was collected from about six unemployed people in Ramabhadrapuram. They took the unemployed and the money to the Collectorate and when they got there, he would call an employee on the phone. This person would come out, take the money, assure them that the job would be done, and go back inside.
Presuming that all was going well the youth waited for the job orders. The youth who paid Rs 2 lakh per job, started getting impatient and questioned them about the job offers. To pacify them, they created fake appointment letters with the forged signatures of the Collector, Zilla Parishad CEO, and other officers. They sent these orders through Whatsapp, which gave them away.
These letters went viral on social media and a rumour spread that money was being collected for jobs in the Panchayati Raj departments. With this the youth started pressurising them even more fearing their money was lost.
The gang threatened them that if they went to the police about this they would get neither the jobs nor their money back. Fearing that they would lose their hard earned money, the victims refrained from filing any complaint, hoping to recover the money.
Sensing their weakness, they allegedly started settling the accounts with the help of the police. However, what was strange was that District MPDO did not inform the higher authorities of this issue even though she was aware of this.
B. Usharani the MPDO at Ramabhadrapuram said though the victims have alleged that they were duped, were not filing any written complaint, and how can one proceed further to take any kind of action, she said.
Meanwhile the SI of Ramabhadrapuram S. Krishnamurthy said that the news was baseless and that the district SP also sought a report on this matter through the DSP. Three of those who gave the money were summoned and questioned. But they have denied paying any money to anyone and the same report was sent to the higher ups, he stated.
There were many unanswered questions as to how the signatures of the Collector and other district officials were forged, why were the police cooperating with those who committed this forgery. What also needs to be known is, were these three accused only involved in the fake job offer racket or were there any more people involved in it. How it was possible for a secretariat employee from Ramabhadrapuram to have committed such a huge fraud, is being questioned.