The Uttar Pradesh police on Monday claimed to have cracked the Anamika Shukla case, arresting three men who got aspiring teachers jobs in government schools on fake documents.
The curious case involved teachers being recruited in state government schools on the basis of educational certificates of one woman -- Anamika Shukla. She had cleared the eligibility exam.
The fake Anamika Shuklas drew lakhs in salaries from multiple schools, a scam for which the state government drew flak from opposition leaders including Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. Last week, police handed over the investigation to its Special Task Force (STF).
"Three persons, including the kingpin of the gang, were arrested by the STF from Gonda. They were identified as Pushpendra Singh alias Shushil of Mainpuri, Anand of Jaunpur and Ramnath of Kehri," an STF statement said.
Police recovered a licensed pistol and seven cartridges, mobile phones and some documents from them, it said.
Teachers got jobs in Anamika Shukla's name at Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas (KGBVs) in Allahabad, Amethi, Raebareli,Varanasi, Baghpat, Kasganj, Sahranpur, Ambedkar Nagar and Aligarh, according to earlier reports.
The probe found that the real Anamika Shukla of Gonda had applied for the post of a KGBV teacher in 2017 at Sultanpur, Jaunpur, Mirzapur, Basti and Lucknow. She got calls from Sultanpur, Jaunpur and Lucknow but due to her health she did not take the job.
But her documents were misused and teachers in several districts worked in her name, the STF said. "The real Anamika had lodged an FIR in this connection in Gonda on June 11," it said.
In Kasganj, a teacher called Priya worked as Anamika Shukla. She told police that she got the job with Pushpendra's help, the STF said. Pushpendra's name cropped up during the probe in other districts too.
Police then got a tip-off about his presence near the High Court building in Lucknow and he was arrested along with the two others.
During interrogation, Pushpendra said he got Anamika Shukla's documents from Anand in 2019. He then took Rs 2 lakh each from the candidates and got them appointment as teachers on fake documents.
The three men were handed over to Gonda police, where an FIR is registered and a detailed probe will continue, the STF said.
Last week, UP Minister for State for Basic Education Satish Dwivedi said the probe so far had revealed that same set of documents were used to draw Rs 12.24 lakh as salary from nine schools in several districts.
As the case surfaced in the media, at least one Anamika Shukla resigned but was arrested.
The real Anamika Shukla, who was jobless, was on Saturday appointed as an assistant teacher on ad hoc basis by a state-aided private school in Gonda.