Army recruitment exam cancelled after paper leak, three arrested in Pune

The arrests were made after a joint operation by Military Intelligence and the Pune police.

Three people, including an ex-serviceman, have been arrested after question papers of an Army recruitment examination were leaked. The exam, scheduled to be held at various locations across India on Sunday, has been cancelled.

Based on intelligence inputs, a joint operation was conducted by the Pune-headquartered Southern Command’s Military Intelligence unit and the anti-extortion cell of the Pune police Crime Branch on the intervening night of Saturday and Sunday. The operation involved raids at various locations, which led to the recovery of a question paper of the Common Entrance Exam (CEE) for recruitment of Soldier (General Duty), sources told The Indian Express.

After confirming that the recovered question paper was in fact that of the scheduled examination, Army authorities cancelled it, said a senior officer. The revised dates of the recruitment process will be announced in due course of time, he added.

Another Army officer said the examination had to be cancelled “because of the zero-tolerance policy towards corrupt practices in recruitment and also considering the gravity of the case.”

The Pune Police have so far arrested three people, including one Army ex-serviceman and two civilians. Investigation is underway to find out how the paper was leaked and how the suspects were distributing it. The possible involvement of serving personnel is also being investigated.

Probe has revealed that the suspects were allegedly charging Rs 4 to Rs 5 lakh from each candidate for an exam paper, and had approached aspirants from Pune, Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, Belgaum districts and also those from other states.

In a similar case in 2017, the Army had cancelled an exam for soldier recruitment after unearthing of a racket in which the exam paper was leaked and distributed to candidates in exchange for large sums.

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