Delhi Police seeks Google, WhatsApp help in CBSE leak probe: Official
An official said police received information that leaked papers were circulated on WhatsApp groups of students, parents, tutors at coaching institutes and their owners from Delhi-NCR.
Delhi Police has sought help from WhatsApp to know who all had received and forwarded the leaked CBSE question papers and is still tracking an email ID from where the education board had received a tip off about the leak, an officer said on Friday.
The officer said 35 more people, including students, parents and coaching centre owners, were questioned in connection with the probe into the leak of Class 10 maths and Class 12 economics question papers that has affected lakhs of students across India.
He said police received information that leaked papers were circulated on WhatsApp groups of students, parents, tutors at coaching institutes and their owners from Delhi-NCR.
“They have played a key role in sharing these question papers. Group members and admins are being questioned by the team of Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Crime Branch of Delhi Police,” the police officer said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to give probe details.
He said the SIT has already written to WhatsApp Headquarters in California, seeking its help “to revive the deleted chats and messages shared on these groups”.
Information has also been sought on the source from where the leaked papers were first forwarded and “who all were the beneficiaries”, the officer said.
Police said its probe has found that the leaked papers were shared on 10 WhatsApp groups and each group has over 50 members. Many of these groups have either been deleted or messages cleared from the chat box.
“A team of cyber cell is also examining personal laptops and emails of these WhatsApp group admins and other suspects,” said the officer, adding Facebook chats were also being scrutinized.
He said the probe and questioning of some 60 people since Thursday have revealed nothing concrete.
“We have not given clean chit to anyone,” the officer said.
He said police have written to Google headquarters in California to know about the email address that had alerted CBSE chairman Anita Karwal on March 28 regarding the leak of Class 10 mathematics paper.
The mail also contained 12 JPG files of hand written copies of mathematics question paper.
“If the sender of the mail is tracked, he can lead us to crack the entire nexus and chain behind the paper leak,” the officer said.
The CBSE academic unit at Rouse Avenue near ITO had on March 26 received some sheets of handwritten answers of economics paper in an envelope without sender’s name.
“Police are suspecting a strong syndicate involved in the question paper leak. We will also question CBSE officers,” the officer said.
Police have also questioned CBSE officials about setting of question papers, their printing and circulation at examination centres.
“The entire printing process is done under CCTVs surveillance in printing press. The team is also in the process of examining the CCTV footage of these printing presses,” he said.