Uttarkashi teacher close to Uttarakhand paper leak mastermind caught: Cop
Uttarakhand special task force SP Ajay Singh said the mastermind of the UKSSSC paper leak was part of an inter-state gang, and will be arrested very soon
DEHRADUN: A teacher at a government intermediate college in Uttarkashi, described by the police as the right-hand man of the Uttarakhand paper leak mastermind, has been arrested, the state’s special task force said on Saturday.
The man was identified as Tanuj Sharma, a resident of Dehradun who is currently working as a physical education teacher at a government intermediate college in Netwar in Uttarkashi district.
“We first brought him in for questioning on the basis of important evidence that came to light during the investigation and subsequently arrested him late last evening,” said senior superintendent of police, special task force (STF) Ajay Singh.
Tanuj Sharma is the 17th person to have been arrested in connection with the case relating to the leak of the recruitment exam conducted by the Uttarakhand subordinate service selection commission (UKSSSC) in December 2021. A case was registered last month on orders of chief minister Pushkar Dhami after allegations of fraud surfaced.
Last week, UKSSSC chairman S Raju resigned from the post on “moral grounds”. In an interview later, Raju, a retired IAS officer, said the mafia couldn’t digest the transparency and fairness with which the commission was working for the past six years and that they “were continuously working to malign the image of commission through some political leaders”.
Uttarakhand director general of police (DGP) Ashok Kumar told reporters on Thursday that the probe of the special team set up to probe the paper leak had identified the printing press in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow as the source. The papers reached candidates through different channels and were sold for ₹10-15 lakh.
Kumar said about 50 candidates who bought the leaked papers and cleared the exam have been identified.
STF officer Ajay Singh said they have identified the mastermind, who is part of an inter-state gang involved in the leak of competitive exams, and are close to arresting him.
“We have also got important inputs about the mastermind and other accomplices in the case. We are very close to nabbing him. However, we can’t divulge his name and other details as it can affect our investigation,” the STF officer said.
Singh added that investigators have been able to identify dozens of more candidates who accessed the leaked papers and cleared the exam. “They are all from a particular area,” he said and asked other such candidates who used “unfair means” to come forward on their own.
Among the 17 people arrested in the case are Surya Pratap, an additional private secretary in the justice department and Gaurav Chauhan, additional private secretary in the public works and forest department.