CBSE chief got email about maths paper leak day before exam, police seek Google’s help to track sender
CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal received an e-mail alerting her about the Class 10 Mathematics paper leak a day before the exam, the board told police on Friday as it faced mounting criticism for forcing an estimated 2.2 million students to re-take tests in two subjects.
The Delhi Police’s Crime Branch wrote to Google seeking electronic footprints of the account from which the email was sent even as investigators broadened their probe into the Class 10 Mathematics and Class 12 Economics paper leaks that have sparked massive protests and a political slugfest.
Police and CBSE said an e-mail was sent to the CBSE chairperson from a Gmail ID with images of handwritten question papers.
However, they did not say what action was taken after the email was received.
The Crime Branch has also identified over 10 WhatsApp groups, each having 50-60 members who are believed to be involved in the paper leak, one of the biggest scandals to have hit the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). The members of the WhatsApp group included private tutors, students and parents.
The Mathematics and Economics exams were held on March 28 and March 26 respectively.
Police officials said Crime Branch sleuths questioned 10 more people and “interacted” with the CBSE controller of examinations in connection with the leak.
In a complaint pertaining to the Mathematics paper, the board said that a day before the exam, an e-mail was received on the CBSE chairperson’s official ID informing about the leak, officials said.
In the mail, the sender had stated that the Mathematics paper was leaked on WhatsApp and that it should be cancelled, they said. The mail also contained attachments of the handwritten Mathematics paper allegedly leaked on WhatsApp, according to the complaint.
The police since Thursday have questioned 35 people, including a coaching centre’s owner, 18 students and some tutors, in connection with the case, an official privy to the investigations said.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising two deputy commissioners of police, four assistant commissioners of police and five inspectors has been set up to investigate the matter. The team is being supervised by the joint commissioner of police (crime).
Jharkhand Police said on Friday they have detained at least six students and a coaching centre owner in Chatra in connection with Mathematics paper leak.
The probe pointed to an inter-state racket, as the group allegedly received the question paper from New Delhi and Bihar on WhatsApp and sold them to students, police said.
Police refused to name the people it had detained, saying the investigation was still on.
“We had detained a few students and the owner of a coaching centre and have got breakthroughs. Some of them are still under detention. We should be in a better position to disclose all the details in next 24 hours,” Chatra superintendent of police Akhilesh B Verior said.
The question papers were sold for a hefty amount but the exact price was not known, police said.
In Delhi, scores of students on Friday protested outside the CBSE headquarters in Delhi with some trying to climb over the police barricades.
This is perhaps the first time in the board’s history that retests are taking place at this scale. There have been retests in the past, but these have been restricted to a few centres.