Abin Raj, Nikhil Thomas, Kerala fake degree scam
Abin C Raj (left) and Nikhil Thomas have been arrested in the fake degree certificate scam

After Nikhil Thomas, 2nd ex-SFI activist arrested in fake degree certificate scam

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Abin C Raj, who is working in the Maldives as a teacher was on Tuesday (June 27) taken into custody in Kerala, on charges of helping a former SFI leader to procure a fake degree certificate.

Raj, who is the second accused in the case, was arrested when he flew into the international airport in Kochi, reportedly on the advice of his parents, police sources said. Raj allegedly helped Nikhil Thomas, the prime accused, forge a fake degree certificate to submit at the Kayamkulam-based MSM College in Alappuzha district to get admission in a post-graduate course.

Raj is also a former SFI activist and his interrogation is currently on.

It was Thomas who told the police that Raj helped him get the fake degree certificate with the support of an agency and that he had paid ₹2 lakhs for the services. The Special Investigation Team probing the fake degree certificate Alapuzzha MSM College nabbed  Thomas from Kottayam on June 24.

Also read: Certificate forgery in Kerala: Former SFI woman leader, on the run, arrested; another missing

Police custody

A court at Kayamkulam in Kerala on Saturday granted the police seven days of custody of Thomas, who was sacked by the Students Federation of India (SFI), allied to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), after the scam came to light.

After Nikhil had submitted a fake degree certificate from Kalinga University to obtain admission to MCom programme at MSM College in Kayamkulam, the Kerala University registrar officially filed a complaint with the police seeking a comprehensive probe.

The Kerala Students Union (KSU), the student’s wing of the Congress in Kerala, has been alleging that Thomas had obtained a seat for MCom course with the fake degree certificate.

The KSU has claimed that Thomas failed in his BCom degree course at MSM College. During MCom admission, he however provided a certificate from Kalinga University in Chhattisgarh.

According to media reports, the police have seized crucial documents at Thomas’ residence on Sunday. Besides the degree certificate, they also found a college ID card, a bank passport and more. However, Thomas’ mobile telephone, which could contain crucial evidence, has not been traced.

Besides Thomas, another former SFI member, Vidya K Maniyodi, is accused of furnishing a fake teaching experience certificate to secure a faculty post in a government college.

Vidya was arrested earlier after absconding for nearly two weeks. Vidya says the case against her is fabricated, and there is a political conspiracy behind it.

(With inputs from agencies)

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