Fake placement agencies on the rise, fear lawyers, activists

Pune that still has the reputation for offering quality education may soon come to be known for its fake placement agencies as well!

These agencies take money from students on the pretext of providing suitable placement and then dupe them. Although they are supposed to get registered with the Labour Commissioner's office, they seldom do so. Incidentally, even some of the registered ones run under fake names, claim activists and advocates.

"It is not that there were no placement agencies earlier, but in recent years they have definitely increased. As a matter of fact, the number of fake agencies are increasing day by day," said Nilesh Bhandari, a criminal lawyer based in Pune. "There are no particular jobs that are being pushed by these fake agencies. These agencies promise jobs in both government and private sectors. There are no estimates on how many placement agencies are there in the city and how many of them are fake," said Bhandari.

In one of the cases which was registered in Bund Garden police station, Mandar Abhyankar, 'owner' of 'CR Bridge Placement Solutions', was booked for allegedly duping eight students on pretext of providing placements in IT firms in India. A case alleging fraud to the tune of Rs 10.52 lakh was registered.

Hassan Khan, who had registered the FIR against Abhyankar had said that last year, the latter charged the students Rs 1.31 lakh, promising them training and placements. But he did neither.

"Abhyankar has appealed in court for anticipatory bail, which we will oppose. We will decide on the further course of action after the court decides on the plea on April 24," said assistant police inspector R R Bhosale.

But duping is not limited to jobs in India alone. Thirty-two students have allegedly been duped by agencies promising them jobs on ships abroad. Incidentally, many of them are yet to get their passport and other documents back, without which they will not be able to apply for jobs elsewhere.

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