The Mumbai police on Tuesday claimed to have cracked three recent paper leak cases, which had caused considerable stress to students and raised several questions about Mumbai university’s capability to conduct examinations.
Fourteen persons — including two professors, five students, two laboratory assistants, and five peons — have been arrested for their alleged involvement in the cases. All 14 have been remanded in police custody till June 8. The papers were leaked on May 17, 23 and 26, hours before the respective examinations were scheduled to begin.
Vice-chancellor Rajan Welu-kar said: “We sincerely apologise to all the students [for the paper leak] and assure we will take care in the future.”
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said two separate groups were involved in leaking the question papers, which were sold for amounts ranging from Rs300 to Rs8,000.
The first group, led by
professor Milind Lad, 37, who teaches at Konkan Gyanpeeth Engineering College (KGEC), Karjat, leaked the question paper set for Basic Electrical and Electronic Engineering exams which was to be held on May 26.
According to the crime branch officials, Lad first got in touch with a mathematics professor, Shrikant More, and they contacted a laboratory assistant at a Karjat college, Vivek Gaikwad.
Gaikwad, in turn, contacted another laboratory assistant, Sachin Lad, who works at the college where the paper was being prepared, they said.
The paper was set by a lady professor, but she did not appear to be involved in the racket, said crime branch officials. “After she had finished setting the paper, she asked Sachin to hand it over to the concerned department,” said Roy. Sachin photocopied the paper and sold it to Gaikwad. Gaikwad then passed it on to the professors, Lad and More. Later, Prof Lad gave the paper to two allegedly influential students, Anirudh Musale and Shadab Raut, studying in the second and third year respectively. Musale and Raut have also been arrested.
The second group comprised five peons, who leaked the first year engineering question papers of Applied Physics II and Mathematics II exams scheduled to be held on May 18 and May 23, respectively, police said.
Roy said the two main accused in this case were Bharat Singh, a peon at the manuscript department of Mumbai university, and Ganesh Jadhav, a peon in a Nalasopara school. Jadhav used to work for the university earlier, and had been arrested by the crime branch in a similar case.
Police said once the question papers are printed they are sorted and sent to centres through the manuscript department. “Before the sorting, these peons, along with three other peons — Paresh Tendulkar, Vikas Ujjainwala and Premchand Kamble — managed to open the seal, take a copy, and sell it to various students,” the official said.
Singh also sold it to Divakar Talekar, a student of statistics, who then sold it to two more students, Sunil Mohite and Sunil Sable, Roy said.