New Delhi: Inspired by "Special 26" heist drama, three men allegedly cheated over 100 unemployed youths on the pretext of recruiting them in the Territorial Army but failed in their latest attempt to pull off the scam and were arrested in Delhi, police said Monday.

The gang members, active mainly in cheating youths from Delhi and Haryana, had conducted fake medical tests at a hotel in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. They had even issued bogus admit cards to the aspirants, police said.

In the Akshay Kumar-starrer movie, a similar modus operandi was employed to cheat unemployed youths. In the film, the scamsters had promised them jobs in CBI.

Balkishan (34), a resident of district Mahendergarh in Haryana, Kallepalli Srinivasa Rao (25) and Kottapalli Venkata Ramana Rao (36), both residents of Andhra Pradesh, were arrested after Delhi police received a complaint from a Haryana-based victim on April 13.

Rajiv Ranjan, additional commissioner of police (crime), said the accused were arrested the same day from Mahipalpur where they were delivering a fake admit card to one of the candidates. Another 11 bogus admit cards and three mobile phones were recovered from them. Police identified Balkishan as the mastermind of the gang, who provided fake stamps of army officials and medical officials.

He also sent unemployed youths to Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu), Pune (Maharashtra) for conducting fake medical and physical tests, the police officer said. Explaining the genesis of the scam, Ranjan said Balkishan used to run a coaching institute for Class 10 and 12 students. There, he met B.K. Singh, who assured Balkishan he will recruit students from the institute into the Indian Army, saying he has links with army personnel. But Singh took money from the students and decamped. When the students pursued Balkishan to get their money back he again met Singh.

It was then that Singh disclosed the scam to Balkishan and introduced him to Srinivasa Rao in Bhubaneswar. Balkishan couldn't resist the temptation and they decided to start a new racket, the police officer said.

Srinivasa Rao used to prepare fake admit cards and conduct medical and physical tests of the candidates, posing an Army doctor. He had prepared himself by reading books, Ranjan said.

Ramana Rao used to pose as a senior medical officer of the Army. He also used to sign the fake admit cards at the time of the medical examination, he said.

They have cheated nearly 150 unemployed youths from several states, police said, adding that all the accused are on police remand and further investigation is going on. PTI

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