Amidst rumours that questions of Bihar State Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) intermediate-level (second phase) examination were moving around on the WhatsApp messenger, police on Sunday arrested 28 persons for reportedly helping examinees adopt unfair means through sophisticated electronic devices.
The BSSC conducts examination for appointment of clerks in the state government. The first phase examination was held on January 29.
Acting on a tip-off, a police team headed by Pakri Barama sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Ram Pukar Singh raided a house on Warsaliganj Bypass road in Nawada district, 84 km from Patna, and arrested 28 people along with electronic devices meant for allegedly helping the examinees in writing papers for BSSC second phase examination.
“Those arrested had allegedly taken a huge amount of money from aspirants to ensure success in the examination,” a police officer said.
Warisaliganj station house officer Mritunjay Kumar said: “Police are interrogating the arrested persons to elicit more information. All the accused will be sent to jail after necessary formalities.”
The Patna police also arrested five examinees from different examination centres for using unfair means.
Earlier on Saturday, Patna police had arrested three persons, allegedly engaged in planning to help BSSC examinees on January 29. Police also seized electronic gadgets, including 13 Bluetooth devices, 10 batteries, 90 earphones, 10 cell phones, four SIM cards, besides undergarments and shirts fitted with hi-tech gadgets to facilitate cheating in the exam hall.
Soon after examination concluded on Sunday, TV channels showed some candidates claiming that 70-80% questions that they had got before the test tallied with the actual question paper.
However, BSSC chairman Sudhir Kumar and secretary Parmeshwar Ram outrightly rejected the allegation of question paper leak, dubbing it as “just a rumour”.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaaj also refuted the leak reports, saying the ADM (law and order) and DSP (law and order) were directed to compare the questions available in the market with the actual paper and the two did not tally. “It means there was no paper leak,” he added.
Bihar education minister Ashok Choudhary went to the extent of saying it was an attempt to malign the image of the state once again and those responsible would not be spared.
The BSSC chairman Kumar said over 4.5 lakh candidates have appeared in the two phases of the clerk grade examination at nearly 750 centres across Bihar. “In this examination, every candidate is allowed to take up to three textbooks inside the hall. It means if there are 50 candidates in a hall, 150 textbooks will be available inside, though mobile phones are not allowed,” he added.
The chairman said he was unable to understand why question papers would be leaked if books were allowed inside the examination hall. “But yes, there is always a possibility of some candidates doing mischief or running away with papers. If isolated cases are blown out of all proportion to paint it as a case of question paper leak, not much can be done. The fact is that we have not got any such complaint from anywhere,” he added.