Madhya Pradesh STF arrests 48 candidates, 2 agents in FCI paper leak case
The Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) arrested two Delhi-based “middlemen” and 48 candidates from a Gwalior hotel for their alleged involvement in leaking the question paper of an examination conducted by the Food Corporation of India (FCI) to recruit watchmen, an official said on Sunday.
The force’s superintendent of police Sunil Shivhare said the arrests were made late on Saturday night after they received a tip-off about the paper leak.
“The two middlemen, Harish Kumar and Ashutosh Kumar, who are based in Delhi, had charged Rs 5 lakh from each candidate. All the 48 candidates, who are from different states, had been brought to the hotel, in Padav area of Gwalior, earlier in the day and given the leaked question paper,” Shivhare said.
The official said the middlemen kept the students locked in rooms without mobiles to ensure they did not circulate the paper. The candidates were given handwritten question papers, which were to be taken back before the exam, he added.
“The plan was to escort them to their respective exam centres before the exam so that there was no leakage, but we managed to arrest them before that,” Shivhare said.
STF officials said over 1.05 lakh candidates had applied for 217 posts of watchmen for the exams that took place on Sunday morning in 132 centres across the country. There were seven centres in Madhya Pradesh.
Shivhare said it is still not clear from where the question papers got leaked, and the role of FCI in the entire exam process. “We have managed to recover some of the leaked question papers as evidence. Investigation is on,” he added.
The incident comes amid nationwide protests and outrage over the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics paper leaks.