Police have stepped up investigations into the intermediate merit muddle and detained several people, including the superintendents of the exam and evaluation centres for VR College, Vaishali, which is at the centre of the controversy.
The exam centre was in Hajipur-based GA High School, and the evaluation centre was set up in Patna’s Rajendra Nagar Boys High School.
“The centre superintendent of GA High School is Kumari Shailja, who happens to be the sister of VR College secretary Bachcha Rai. We are interrogating her,” said a senior police officer who did not want to named. “The evaluation centre superintendent is also under interrogation. Several clerks of the board and the two institutions have also been detained, while Rai, the alleged kingpin, is absconding.”
The investigating teams are also on the lookout for a board official, Ranjit Mishra, who was in-charge of Vaishali district. His role in the irregularities is suspected because it is believed that such a racket could not have succeeded without his knowledge.
The police raided the board’s office and two institutions in Vaishali, and seized computers, laptops a number of documents. “We have to corroborate facts right from registration, admission, examination to results publication, and there seems to be a larger racket involving board officials as well,” said the officer.
Just one day after an FIR was registered in the matter, the officer said, irregularities have emerged that point to the involvement of a number institutions in connivance with board officials. “There is already evidence of change of answer books and tampering. We have also talked to board chairman Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh and secretary Hariharnath Jha to gather details,” the officer added.
It has also come to light that another girl of VR College, Shalini Rai, daughter of secretary Bachcha Rai, was the topper in science, but her name was later dropped from the merit list. “Her result was also stopped, while the board itself came out with her name before the department of education when the controversy snowballed,” the officer said.
On the directive of the police headquarters, Patna senior superintendent of police Manu Maharaaj is monitoring the investigation being carried out by four teams. Kotwali deputy police superintendent Shibli Nomani heads the special investigation team.
“We may arrest a few detained persons, as the racket seems to be quite deep. We are heading in the right direction and will soon expose the nexus,” said the officer.
Education department officials said preliminary investigation has revealed the board’s involvement. “With chief minister Nitish Kumar particular about exposing the entire nexus, time seems to be up for both the board chairman and the secretary. The chairman has already been served a show-cause [notice] for ordering judicial inquiry on his own and he is yet to reply to that,” said an official.
Nitish Kumar’s ally and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad said the intermediate results controversy had brought infamy to Bihar and the culprits must be booked.
When questioned about VR College secretary Bachcha Rai’s RJD affiliation, he shot back: “These are the people who were driven out from the party long back. All those who have demeaned Bihar should go to jail.”