Just days after the principal of Khalsa College and his personal assistant were arrested for their alleged involvement in a bribe-for-seat scam, the Vikhroli police arrested a conman for duping an Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) aspirant of Rs 3.5 lakh.
Police said Hemant Ramkrishna Jha (32), fooled Shivam Narendra Kumar by claiming that he was a member of Ekta Education Institute in Bhayandar and, using his contacts in the education ministry, would help Kumar secure a seat at any college of his choice.
PSI Anil Gaikwad from Vikhroli police station said, “The con was in progress since last July. But it was only this January that the victim realised that he had been duped. After receiving an application from Kumar, we initiated our inquiry and finally registered a case of cheating against the accused on Tuesday morning.”
Based on the tip-off provided by their informers, a police team headed for Bhayandar and nabbed Jha from his residence around 5 pm on Tuesday itself.
But Jha’s wife Gauri, who is said to be his accomplice, managed to escape. Police suspect Gauri of fleeing to her native place. Jha was produced in the Vikhroli court yesterday and has been remanded in police custody.
Gaikwad said, “Jha even gave him (Kumar) a fake college ID card, library card and fee receipts. We have just got his custody and are interrogating him to find out whether he has conned others in the past or not.”
Jha was been booked under section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (punishment for forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged document or electronic record) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance) of the IPC.
Narrating his ordeal, Kumar said, “I got to know Jha through one of my relatives, who told me that he was associated with a big trust and had contacts in Mantralaya and ICT. It was his wife who asked me to pay
Rs 3.5 lakh for securing admission at the ICT. I paid the amount in several instalments as library fee, hostel fee, etc, as told by them.
Now I don’t know what to do. I’ve lost an entire year, as well as lakhs of rupees.” Kumar said he learnt about the fraud the day he went to college to attend lectures. When he compared his ID card with those of the other students, he discovered discrepancies, following which he immediately wrote the application requesting an inquiry.