‘No jobs these days…seemed like a good deal’: How over 300 were duped in ‘Prasar Bharati job scam’

An FIR was lodged only seven months after the incident. Police are yet to arrest the accused.

ByTanishka Sodhi
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‘No jobs these days…seemed like a good deal’: How over 300 were duped in ‘Prasar Bharati job scam’
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The accused

As per the FIR, Pankaj Gupta had allegedly told the victims that his father was a vendor in Prasar Bharati. The four complainants in the case – Sarfaraz Ahmed, Vishal Kumar Pandey, Deepak Kumar, and Dilshad Ahmed – allegedly met Gupta in October 2021 through Sarfaraz. Gupta allegedly told them that they would be assistants to DG and DDG level officers and showed them an alleged email by a senior officer at Prasar Bharati to add heft to his claim.

However, when Gupta was asked why this vacancy was not visible on Prasar Bharati’s website, he allegedly told the victims that the broadcaster recruits on a large scale and often does it via third parties. 

“All Prasar Bharati victims whose names Gupta used to mention were on the website so we never doubted him,” Sarfaraz told Newslaundry.

However, after realising that something was off when they weren’t allowed to enter Prasar Bharati office, some of the victims landed at Gupta’s house to demand answers, but were told he had gone out of town. Sarfaraz, on visiting the Prasar Bharati office again a few days later, found out that recruitments were done only through the website.

In the FIR, the complainants claimed that when they went to confront Gupta, his aunt told them that he has stamps of different government departments and committed fraud before as well. 

Gupta is yet to be arrested.

“He used to meet us at a cafe in Connaught Place and sometimes at his house. He seemed like a religious man, someone who would pray a lot. We never thought this would turn out to be a fraud,” said Dilshad.

Newslaundry reached out to the investigating officer in the case, inspector Bhagwan, to ask about the lack of any arrest and the alleged delay in the FIR. He said that he had just received the case and did not have further information at this stage. 

EOW ACP Sachindar Mohan Sharma and EOW chief Shalini Singh, meanwhile, remained unavailable for comment.

Prasar Bharati officials told Newslaundry that they were unaware of the case and had nothing to do with it.

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