March 28, 2014: Pamesh Prasad, 21, a second-year BCom student and resident of Khunti district in Jharkhand, files a complaint at the Lower Bazaar police station in Ranchi accusing Dinesh Prajapati, owner of a local coaching centre named Digdarshan Institute, of cheating him after promising to get him recruited into a paramilitary force. Prasad claims that Prajapati took Rs.2 lakh from him in May 2012 and connected him to his friend Ravi Bodra, said to be a former military intelligence informer.
Bodra, Prasad alleged, informed him about jobs being available in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) under the “surrender policy”. All he had to do was claim to be a Naxalite, surrender before the CRPF with weapons supplied by Bodra, spend some months in jail and then get recruited into the central force as a reformed extremist. Prasad took the bait and was lodged in the CRPF’s elite CoBRA battalion camp located in Ranchi’s old jail campus.
There were hundreds of other wide-eyed, young, mostly tribal men like him in the “open jail”, aspiring to wear uniforms and rise above their impoverished existence. But with the promised recruitment nowhere in sight, he fled-much before a top cop in the CRPF smelt a rat and pulled down the curtains on a diabolic scam. His efforts to pursue the men who took him for a ride succeeded only about two years later, when a tribal chief minister managed to push an apparently reluctant state police to investigate the complaints.