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Hacking of IAF online test: Police conduct raids in Delhi, Gurugram to nab accused

The IAF is conducting the test for induction in the Airmen cadre from September 13 to 16 across the country.

punjab Updated: Sep 16, 2018 20:42 IST
Jatinder Kaur Tur
Jatinder Kaur Tur
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Hacking of IAF online test,Delhi,Gurugram
(Representative image )

The Haryana Police are conducting raids in Delhi and Gurugram to nab the accused behind the hacking of the Indian Air Force’s online Scheduled Test for Airmen Recruitment (STAR) held at the Rohtak centre on September 13 evening.

The IAF is conducting the test for induction in the Airmen cadre from September 13 to 16 across the country.

Rohtak city SHO Jagbir Singh told HT that two of the seven accused, identified as Hardik and Sombir, have so far been arrested. “We are quizzing them to unearth the entire racket,” he said, adding that these two were sitting in the room adjoining the examination hall, with a remote connectivity to the computer network in the hall.

The SHO said the Haryana Police are raiding the residences and official complexes of the five accused, who are on the run, in Gurgaon and Delhi.

“Among those on the run are Aditya, who runs a computer centre in Gurgaon; JS Dahiya, a former principal of the ITI, Jhajjar; Sanjay Ahlawat, an aide of Dahiya, who runs a coaching centre; Jatinder Siwach and Sahil, he said, adding that they charged Rs 5 lakh to Rs 6 lakh per candidate.

The SHO said a total of 350 candidates — 175 each in the morning and evening shift — appeared for the test in Rohtak. It was in the evening test that the hackers were spotted by a vigilance team.

The hackers were allegedly giving answers to the candidates with the help of various experts.

The IAF later got an FIR registered with the Rohtak city police station.

Fate of 5 lakh candidates hangs in balance

Meanwhile, the fate of nearly 5 lakh candidates hangs in balance as the test may be cancelled if the hacking beneficiaries are found to be nationwide.

A senior IAF official from Delhi, who did not want to be named, told Hindustan Times that a call will be taken depending on whether the hacking affected the test at the local level or across the country, which will be known after the police investigations.

“We had entrusted Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) with conducting the online exam at 524 centres across 97 cities in India from September 13 16, in which nearly five lakh candidates are appearing. We can’t jeopardise their career if this act of hacking is restricted to just one centre”, said the IAF official.

He added that the C-DAC, an autonomous body of the department of electronics and information technology under the Ministry of communications and information technology, had further employed another private agency to conduct the examination.

The IAF official said the vigilance staff got suspicious when a “dumb cheater” sitting idle ahead of a computer screen was logging the answers. “This led to the unearthing of the hacking racket by the accused.”

First Published: Sep 16, 2018 20:42 IST