In yet another case of admission racket, touts duped a professor from a college in Ratlam, Madhya Pradesh of Rs23 lakh. The touts offered to help his brother get admission to the MBBS course at a college in Talegaon Dabhade.
This is the third such case in the city in the last seven days. The admission racket has seen eight cases in the city over the past couple of years, with the police cracking only two of them. After receiving the cash from the professor, Dilip Shakalya, the touts gave him a forged offer letter bearing the college’s letter head, which stated that his brother would be admitted to the medical college through the management quota. Shakalya then informed the Kothrud police about the incident.
“We wanted to send my brother to Pune to pursue the MBBS course when I came in contact with one Rajvir Singh, who said he has good contacts in some colleges in Pune and could help us get admission there,” Shakalya told dna over the phone from Ratlam.
“I and my brother came to Pune a month ago and met two people by the name of Vishal Singh and Anup Gupta on the MIT College campus in Kothrud as told by Rajvir. These two youths asked us to fill up the admission form,” he said.
The youths informed Shakalya that they have good contacts with the management of Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research (MIMER) at Talegaon Dabhade and promised to get the admission through the management quota. “After filling up the admission forms, they asked us to come on September 28 with Rs23 lakh. We went back and managed the cash,” he said.
“When we visited MIT on September 28, two more people named Patil and Salunke came there and told us they are from the college management. They showed us the offer letter stating that the admission in the college is confirmed. Later, they took the cash from us and asked us to go to the college and take admission,” said Shakalya.
“We then reached the college and showed them the letter. However, the administration staff mocked us and told us that the letter was forged and no such letter is issued to any candidate for admission to the college,” he said.
Police inspector (crime) Shrikant Navale of Kothrud police station said they are registering a complaint in this regard. “We have launched a manhunt to nab these suspects and also inquire with the college staff whether they have anybody named Patil and Salunke on their staff.”
Maeer director urges parents to exercise caution
When contacted, Mangesh Karad, executive director of Maharashtra Academy of Engineering Education and Research (Maeer), which runs the Maharashtra Institute of Medical Education and Research (Mimer) told dna that they are not responsible for the incidents as several people come to their campuses daily and it is difficult to identify admission touts.
“As these incidents are increasing, we appeal to students and their parents not to fall prey to these people’s tactics. If anybody approaches them with the assurance that they would help him or her to get admission through the management quota, they can directly come to us and complain,” he said.
Parents, students lost Rs1 cr in three yrs
Since 2011, the city has seen at least eight cases of admission touts duping students and parents to the tune of over Rs1 crore by promising admissions to reputed colleges, out of which the police have cracked two cases.
The police said that in all eight cases, the touts promised the victims help to get seats in either Bharati Vidyapeeth or MIT College. Thus the cases were registered in Kothrud police station and one at Dattawadi police station.
Police inspector (crime) Shrikant Navale of Kothrud police said the touts are mainly based out of state and the moment they cheat a student or parent they switch off their cellphones and abscond, making it difficult to nab them.
Dr Ramprasad Chavan, a resident of Mumbai, who lost Rs21 lakh to the fraudsters, is hopeful that the police will one day nab the culprits. Three suspects, identified as Dr Jagannath Patnayak, Sudip Chakravarty and Sanjay Yadav, in 2011 cheated Chavan of Rs21 lakh by promising admission for his son at a medical course in Bharati Vidyapeeth.
“I have been making rounds of the police station to check the status of the case. However, I have been told that these suspects have not been traced till date,” said Chavan.
Navale said there are several people who get duped but do not come to the police as the transactions are in cash.
Cops suspect Insiders played a role
The police feel that some college staffers must be hand in glove with these admission touts as without the help of insiders, the fraud cannot take place. “We have observed that in several cases, the students who receive the calls are either not able to get the seat in the institute or the college through the proper admission process and only such students receive the messages or the calls from these touts, who promise that they would help them get admission in a reputed college or the same college they had approached,” said Shrikant Navale, police inspector of Kothrud police station.
The people who pose as representatives of the college management explain to the victims that there is a management quota and they have the right to fill these seats as per their discretion.
Navale said they have been asking the authorities from the colleges to put up notices on their campuses warning parents of admission touts. They should also put up warnings on their websites, he said.
Two cases cracked
The Kothrud police said they have so far cracked two cases. Chargesheets have been filed in both cases. In 2012, three people identified as Rohit Khwaja (20), a resident of Rajasthan, Ratneshkumar Mishra (20) and Sanjay Kumar Singh (25), both from Bihar were arrested in June 2012 for allegedly cheating Asha Duwa (40) of Rajasthan. They duped Duwa of Rs5 lakh by promising that they would help her son get admission for the BTech course at MIT.
In the second case, the police in July 2013 arrested Harshavardhan Singh of Haryana for allegedly cheating Bhupsingh Nehra (51) of Rs10 lakh by promising a seat for a ward in MIT College.