(Riya Singh, Intern Journalist): Bihar police claimed that educational clerk Ajai Rai, Gopalganj, was murdered last month by people involved in fraudulent appointments to teacher posts as he had uncovered the fraud. Police claimed a breakthrough in the case with the arrest of three alleged criminals including two sharpshooters from UP.

When he was on his way to his office, two motorcycle-borne armed criminals shot down Ajay in Lakshwar village, under Thave police station area in Gopalganj, Police said. Two empty cartridges were recovered from the spot by police.

Those arrested were known as Zulfikar-Ali-Bhutto (a Gopalganj resident), Mohammad Wasir Ansari, and Mohammad Shahbaz Alam (both from UP district of Deoria). Police say that the killers were hired by an “education mafia” for Rs 3 lakh to eliminate Ajay, who was actively involved in an investigation into teacher recruitment using fake qualification certificates.

Station house officer of the Thave police station, Vishal Anand, said Zulfikar was hired as a teacher in 2005 and was subsequently dismissed in 2017 after he was found with a consignment of banned liquor.

Gopalganj SP Manoj Tiwari said all three accused had already been arrested from the village of Khairtia under Mirganj police station. They admitted their involvement in the murder. Wasir and Shahbaz revealed that Zulfikar had hired them, and paid Rs 3 lakh for the contract. Investigations found that Ajay was all set to send a report containing facts against fraudulently recruited teachers to the Vigilance Investigation Bureau (VIB) before being murdered.

Tiwari said Zulfikar and his nephew were involved in the sale of fake TET certificates too. The VIB is investigating large-scale fraudulent appointments made by school teachers using forged documents. The office has registered 337 FIRs that involve 903 teachers across the state, of which the education department has terminated services of 639 teachers.

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