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BSSC trail: From Patna to Delhi and Hazaribagh

The special investigation team inquiring into the Bihar staff selection commission question paper leak scam, has made an elaborate attempt to join the dots in making its case against arrested BSSC chairman Sudhir Kumar

india Updated: Feb 27, 2017 11:37 IST
Alok Mohit
Taint of a scam: BSSC office in Patna.
Taint of a scam: BSSC office in Patna.(Santosh Kumar/HT photo)

PATNA The charges levelled by the special investigation team (SIT) under Patna SSP, Manu Mahaaraj, against Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) chairman Sudhir Kumar , to justify his arrest, has lifted the veil from the modus operandi of the people involved in the question paper leak.

The SIT had claimed that Sudhir Kumar, a Bihar cadre IAS officer of 1987 batch, was part of the network that compromised the sanctity of the recruitment test.

His brother Awadhesh Kumar, professor in geography department at Patna Women’s College, sister’s son Ashish Kumar and Awadhesh’s wife, Manju, were also arrested for their alleged involvement in the case.

“Only Sudhir Kumar knew where the questions were being printed and where the answer keys were being prepared. We have enough evidence to show that the owner of the Gujarat–based press had frequent conversations with Anant Bagga,a go between, who framed the answer keys in Delhi,” it said.

Bagga is also known to former Bihar School Examination board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, who is at present in jail in connection with the inter topper scam that rocked the state last year.

HELPING FAMILY MEMBERS MAIN MOTIVE

The SIT has claimed, that Sudhir Kumar, who had served as Bihar home secretary when Jitan Ram Manjhi was chief minister, wanted to hit two birds with one stone. “Apart from making money, the BSSC chairman wanted to help his family members who were aspirants for government jobs.

Five relatives of Kumar were appearing in the test that was being conducted in four phases. First two phases were conducted on January 29 and February 5, respectively, and the remaining phases were to be held on February 12 and 19. The examinations were cancelled on February 7 after questions and answer keys were leaked on the social media, ahead of the second phase exam,” the SIT said.

Of the five family members of Kumar, his nephew Ashish had taken the test on February 5 and sister-in-law Manju was to write the exam on February 19, it said.

HOW WERE THE QUESTIONS LEAKED

The SIT claimed that Sudhir Kumar provided the questions and answer keys to his brother, who in turn handed it over to his wife. Ashish, it said, was provided the questions and answer keys at the house of the IAS officer’s father at Hazaribagh, in neighbouring Jharkhand.

“Ashish received the questions and answer keys on January 23 and passed them on to Rameshwar, owner of Patna-based Random Classes, a coaching centre. The coaching centre owner later sold them to candidates in Nalanda, Nawada and many other places,” the SIT added.

The call detail records also corroborated that questions were leaked from cellphones of Ashish and BSSC’s IT officer Niti Ranjan to various exam centres at Ara, Patna, Nalanda, Nawada and some other places, it said.

TAILING DRIVER TO TRACK KUMAR

“Sudhir Kumar’s mobile phone was switched off and he was incommunicado after proceeding on leave. He was traced to his father Ghanshyam Prasad’s Hazaribagh house after we tracked the movement of the IAS officer’s driver. Our team reached Hazaribagh when the driver was called there. Sudhir Kumar was picked up from there and brought to Patna where he was formally arrested,” the SIT said.

PAWAN SPILLED THE BEANS

The SIT said it could lay its hands on Sudhir Kumar and other suspects after Pawan, an accused in the case, spilled the beans. During his interrogation, Pawan, who was arrested from Agamkuan police station area on February 4, revealed the alleged involvement of Sudhir Kumar, his family members and Rameshwar in the question paper leak, it said.

Earlier, BSSC secretary Parmeshwar Ram had hinted at pressures from bureaucrats and politicians to part with the question papers.

Twenty-nine people, including BSSC secretary Parmeshwar Ram, have been arrested in connection with the paper leak. More than 17.5 lakh candidates were to appear for the four-phase test for recruitment of about 17,000 panchayat secretaries, revenue workers and clerks in government departments across the state.

STRAP: QUESTION LEAK SIT has made out an elaborate case against arrested BSSC chief Sudhir Kumar