Army aspirants line up with performance boosting drugs

A large amount of performance enhancing drugs, fake stamps of magistrates and tehsildars, mobile phones and sedatives were recovered from a number of candidates participating in the Army's open recruitment rally that began in Rohtak on Saturday.

The recruitment rally, to continue till November 27 for recruiting jawans, hawaldars and soldiers in the clerk grade. Around 3,000 candidates appeared in the rally today out of which nearly three dozen were caught carrying performance enhancing drugs and fake rubber stamps. Ironically, even after the candidates were found in possession of such banned drugs, they were allowed to participate in the recruitment rally.

The Army authorities suspected a few candidates of carrying mobile phones, which are otherwise prohibited during such recruitment rallies. During the frisking of the suspects several mobile phones were recovered. As the search continued, the Army officers found candidates carrying syringes and injections, sedatives, pills, capsules and certain performance enhancing drugs.

"It is shocking how teenagers aspiring to become soldiers can even think of using performance enhancing drugs. Also, the candidates are required to submit attested copies of their education and character certificates. For this, they were carrying fake stamps. It is only at the time of final selection that the candidates are asked to submit their original certificates", said Colonel B Patnaik, in-charge of the recruitment rally.

"We chose not to involve the local police and allowed the candidates to participate," Col Patnaik added.

He, however, failed to give any satisfactory reply when asked if the candidates hadn't already taken the drugs. "They were in a very small number. In a rally, where 3,000 candidates appear, some 30-35 candidates will not make any difference," Col Patnaik added.

The recruitment rally in Rohtak range covers four districts of Haryana including Rohtak, Sonepat, Jhajjar and Panipat. Since Army has always been claiming that they get a good crop of soldiers from Haryana as compared to Punjab, Rohtak was kept as the central zone for the rally. On Saturday it was open for the candidates from Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

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