The pictures of mass cheating in matriculation examinations in Bihar that went viral over the internet forced the police into action. Officials collected as much as Rs 15 lakh in fines from offenders in just one day- the highest in the state.
The fines imposed were according to the Bihar school examination board act. Sources said that the figure could go past Rs 25 lakh if fines from all offenders are realised.
ADG (headquarters) Gupteshwar Pandey told HT that around 712 arrests were made on Saturday from across the state, out of which nearly half of them were let off after paying fine.
"Most of who were arrested were guardians, parents or relatives and a few students. Nearly half of them were let off after realising fine from them. The fine varies from Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000, depending on the offence. Those who could not pay fine were sent to jail, but on payment of fine, they too, would be released,” he added.
“A criminal case has been registered, but the basic purpose of rounding them up is to let them know that what they were doing was not acceptable. They are not hardened criminals,” he added.
Following the discovery, the Patna high court had asked Bihar DGP to deploy sufficient police force outside exam centres to ensure free and fair examinations.
The police also nabbed some teachers and homeguard jawans in Hajipur, while in Samastipur some coaching institute employees were nabbed for supplying answers to the questions through Whatsapp- a popular messaging app.
However, with the class 10 board examination now nearing its end, another police officer said that had the exercise started sooner, it could have earned the government good revenue, as the offenders were not likely to sit quiet.
“It is a social issue, with a lot of prestige and job opportunity attached with a matriculation degree,” he added.
He said that a large number of girls had also been caught cheating with the help of relatives, as it is supposed to boost their chances for getting married.. “Everything has a flip side. Now, even in rural areas, there is inclination for educated girls,” he added.