Jharkhand police have busted an exam racket with the arrest of a middleman who was carrying answer sheets from homes of two intermediate examinees for submission at the examination centre on Tuesday.
Police have also registered a case against the examination centre, Balidih High School’s superintendent for facilitating the fraud.
“A DSP level officer is investigating the matter. Details will be revealed soon,” Bokaro SP YS Ramesh told HT.
The Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC) board exams for matriculation (class 10) and intermediate (class 12) began on February 18. The exams end on March 7. Nearly eight lakh students are appearing for the exams across 1385 centres in the state.
Police were interrogating the accused Pradyuman Pandey and are hopeful of unveiling a bigger racket involving education and administrative officials.
Education department officials said the answer papers have been confiscated and the two students identified as Aman Kumar and Sushmita Kumari, who apparently got the question papers well in advance and wrote the exam at home, have been marked absent.
District education officer Mahip Kumar Singh said locals had nabbed Pandey near a petrol pump while he was on way to the examination center for submitting the answer sheets. Some local youths had suspected Pandey for being involved in unfair practices. They caught him when he was taking out answer sheets from inside his T-shirt near a petrol pump in Balidih.
“They seized the answer sheets from him and handed him to authorities at the examination centre. Soon police were called and Pandey was handed over to them,” he said.
The district education authority quickly swung into action and removed the magistrate, centre superintendent and invigilator at the centre and an FIR has been lodged against Pandey and centre superintendent.
“We have set up a probe committee in this regard to find out how the answer sheet went outside the centre,” vice chairman of the Jharkhand Academic Council (JAC), Phool Singh told Hindustan Times.
Cases of unfair practices have been rising in the examinations which are still under way. More than 300 students have been expelled for unfair practices in the state so far. The education department is also worried over alleged use of tech gadgets and mobile phones in examination halls.
On February 20, pictures of class 12 English question paper went viral on WhatsApp, hardly 30 minutes after the exams began, raising concerns over the use of tech gadgets and mobile phones by students in examination halls.
Cheating is rampant. Shortage of benches and desks in many schools also meant that three students have been sitting on one bench during the exams.