Assam exam paper leak: 27 persons, including teachers & students arrested
The question papers of two subjects of the ongoing exams conducted by the Secondary Education Board of Assam (SEBA) were leaked that led to widespread condemnation of the state government
As many as 27 persons, including teachers and students, were arrested by Assam police on Friday in the Class 10 board exam paper leak case.
The question papers of two subjects of the ongoing exams conducted by the Secondary Education Board of Assam (SEBA) were leaked that led to widespread condemnation of the state government.
The exam for the general science paper scheduled on March 13 was cancelled the previous night after hand written notes of the question paper were circulated on social media.
The exam has now been rescheduled for March 30.
“As soon as we knew of the leak, we asked SEBA to verify whether the paper circulating on social media was similar to the original one. Once they confirmed the questions were same or similar, we registered a case with Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on March 13 and began probe,” said DGP GP Singh.
Question papers of the general science paper, which are kept in the police station, were immediately sealed.
Also Read: Assam paper leak case: MIL exam of Class 10 boards rescheduled for April 1
It was found the leak was mainly concentrated in few districts of east Assam.
“We found that the leaked question paper had reached 14 persons. On questioning them, we were able to establish a chain of events that included names of persons who had received the papers and their source,” said Singh.
“A total of 22 persons who had sent and received the papers were arrested and questioned. On March 15, we found that the chain of events led to a person named Kumud Rajkhowa, a teacher of Dafalakata Janajati High School in Lakhimpur district,” he added.
Technical details provided by mobile service operators revealed that Rajkhowa was in close touch with Prasanna Das, a teacher from the same school, and Pramod Dutta, an exam centre in-charge of Lohit Khabolu Higher Secondary School in Lakhimpur district.
On questioning, Das told police that Dutta had given the question paper to Rajkhowa who first circulated among students of his own school and then sold it to some of his associates.
The paper was further circulated through social media platforms like Whatsapp from there in exchange for money transacted through e-wallets. Dutta was arrested on March 16 by police in Majuli district.
“Investigation has revealed that Dutta got 29 sets of question papers, but his record in the police station indicated that he only got 28 sets. From the one set that he stole, Dutta claims he gave one question paper each of general science and Assamese subjects to Rajkhowa,” said Singh.
On Thursday, the exam of Modern Indian Language (MIL), which includes Assamese and 12 other languages, and was scheduled to be held on March 18 was also cancelled after investigations revealed that its question papers had also got leaked. The exam will now be held on April 1.
Police has so far arrested 27 persons and are on the lookout for Rajkhowa who has been absconding since the paper got leaked.
On Thursday, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma admitted inside the state assembly that the paper leak issue was a failure on part of his government and assured steps will be taken to ensure such incidents don’t get repeated.
Meanwhile, the issue has rocked the ongoing budget session of state assembly and protests have been taking place across the state by several student bodies demanding removal of education minister Ranoj Pegu and SEBA chairman RC Jain.
However, police said that investigations till now have not revealed any connection between the paper leak and SEBA officials.
Investigations are underway and more arrests are likely to follow, police said.