The Navi Mumbai police on Saturday arrested four people, who they say are responsible for leaking the questions of the Marathi and Secretarial Practice papers of the Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams through a mobile messaging application. The police had earlier arrested four people for allegedly posting the images of the question papers on WhatsApp.
The accused ‘masterminds’ have been identified as Anand Ramdas Kamat, 43, trustee and principal of Mount Mary School, Virar, Ganesh Sudhakar Rane, 30, head clerk, Mount Mary school, advocate Nikhil Shankar Rane, 29, who conducts tuitions and Vinesh Ashok Dhotre, 27, a teacher at Lokmanya Junior College in Nalasopara, who also conducts tuitions.
Madhukar Pandey, joint commissioner of police, Navi Mumbai, said, “Kamat and Ganesh Rane would open the packets containing the questions papers that arrived at their centre. They would take photos of the pages of the question papers with the phone of a Class 11 student.”
They would send the images to Nikhil Rane, who would share it with Dhotre. Dhotre, who had formed various WhatsApp groups comprising his students, shared the images on those groups and collected money from the students, according to Pandey.
Kamat and Ganesh Rane are alleged to have been paid Rs20,000 each by Nikhil Rane and Dhotre for each paper.
According to Pandey, the accused have been found involved in both the cases of leaking the questions of the Marathi and Secretarial Practice papers.
“We are investigating if they were involved in the cases that have been registered in Mumbai as well and also how much money they have collected.”
The police had earlier last week arrested Rahul Bachelal Bhaskar, 22, Azharuddin Kamaruddin Shaikh, 20, Mohammad Aman Mohammad Islam Shaikh, 19 and Suresh Vimalchand Jha, 26.
The accused have been arrested by the Vashi police under The Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University, Board and other Specified Examination Act,1982 r/w Sec 72 of IT Act.
The accused, who were presented before the JMFC court, Vashi, were remanded in police custody till March 18.