Stung by the intermediate toppers scam in 2016 and photographs of mass cheating that went viral on the social media the previous year, officials allegedly strip-searched girl students appearing for the matriculation examination at a school in Bihar on Monday.
Parents said around 50 matriculation examinees were strip-searched for chits at the Bankipore Girls High School examination centre in Patna – a charge denied by the school administration. The government, for its part, sought a report from the Patna district magistrate in this regard.
The matriculation exams began on March 1, and will end on Wednesday.
In a written complaint to Patna divisional commissioner Anand Kishor, the parents alleged that the students were strip-searched by women magistrates and the centre superintendent in makeshift enclosures before being allowed to enter the examination centre. The officials even passed snide remarks while checking them, they added.
Kishor, who is also the chairman of the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB), told HT, “We are looking into the matter, and have sought a report from the district magistrate. We will punish the guilty if the charges are proved.”
Till Tuesday, 400 out of 17.63 lakh students had been expelled from 1,500-odd examination centres across the state for adopting unfair means, and 78 impersonators were arrested.
Around 1,750 of 12.61 lakh examinees were expelled during the intermediate exams held between February 14 and 25. The BSEB, however, did not disclose the number of girl students expelled.
The education board, in an attempt to redeem its image after the toppers scam, adopted a slew of measures to check the use of unfair means at exams. They included frisking examinees and taking written undertakings from invigilators to this effect.
The state’s district magistrates and superintendents of police were tasked with ensuring the conduct of “fair and cheating-free exams” by the Bihar chief secretary and director general of police, who addressed them through video conferencing before the start of the examinations.
Attempts to contact Patna district magistrate Sanjay Kumar Agarwal went in vain.