India: Railway job aspirant removes thumb skin, puts it on friend’s hand to appear for exam

The skin fell off when an official sprayed sanitiser on it during biometric verification

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Photo used for illustrative purpose only. — PTI file
Photo used for illustrative purpose only. — PTI file


Published: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 3:57 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Aug 2022, 4:01 PM

In a desperate attempt to get a railway job, a candidate removed his thumb skin using a hot pan and pasted it on his friend’s thumb with a hope that the latter will clear the biometric verification and appear for the recruitment exam in his place.

But, the thumb skin pasted on the proxy’s hand fell off when the exam supervisor sprayed a sanitiser on it during the biometric verification before the railway recruitment test conducted in Gujarat’s Vadodara city on August 22, an official said on Thursday.

The Vadodara police on Wednesday arrested the candidate Manish Kumar and his proxy Rajyaguru Gupta, natives of Munger district in Bihar, for cheating and forgery, Additional Commissioner of Police S M Varotariya said.

Both are in their mid-20s and had cleared Class 12 exam in the past, he said.

A private company, authorised by the Railways, had arranged a recruitment test for railway ‘D’ group vacancies at a building in Laxmipura area in Vadodara on August 22 in which more than 600 candidates appeared, as per the FIR registered at Vadodara’s Laxmipura police station.

“To prevent any sort of cheating, all the candidates were required to give their thumb impression, which was then matched with their Aadhaar data through a biometric device before the test. At that time, the device failed to register the thumb impression of a candidate named Manish Kumar despite repeated attempts,” Varotariya said.

The exam supervisor grew suspicious as he observed the candidate was trying to hide something by putting his left hand inside the pocket of his pant.

“When the supervisor sprayed sanitiser on his left thumb, the skin pasted on it fell off,” the official said.

After learning about the cheating, the agency called the police and lodged a complaint under Indian Penal Code Sections 465 (forgery), 419 (cheating by impersonation) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), he said.

The person who was caught told the police that his real name was Rajyaguru Gupta and he came to appear for the exam posing as his friend Manish Kumar.

Since Gupta was good in studies, Kumar, who had applied for a railway job, came up with the idea of sending Gupta for the recruitment test using forged identity, the police official said.

“A day before the test, Kumar put his left thumb on a hot cooking pan which created a blister on it. Kumar removed the skin using a blade and pasted it on Gupta’s left thumb, as he knew that biometric verification will be done at the exam centre to ascertain the real identity,” he said.

“We have arrested both Gupta and Kumar,” the official said.

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