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3 teachers held for Eco paper leak, CBSE official suspended

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NEW DELHI: Making the first breakthrough in the CBSE paper leak scandal, Delhi Police’s special investigation team arrested two teachers of a private school in outer Delhi and a teacher at a coaching centre in the same area on Sunday morning. The accused had allegedly leaked the Class XII Economics paper.

The two schoolteachers, Rohit and Rishabh, taught Maths and Physics, respectively, at Mother Khazani school in Bawana and were on exam duty, police said.

The two allegedly opened the envelope containing the question papers half an hour before the scheduled time, clicked pictures and passed it on to Tauqeer, a teacher at Easy Classes coaching institute in Bawana, who circulated it amongst his students.

Simultaneously, the Central Board of Secondary Education has suspended one of its officials for laxity in supervision at the exam centre, the HRD ministry’s school education secretary announced on Twitter on Sunday evening.

“Consequent to the arrest of 2 teachers… and a coaching institute head… for colluding to leak the Class12 Eco paper & probe done by CBSE, a #CBSE personnel, K S Rana, found lax in supervision,” Anil Swarup said.

Confirming the arrests, special commissioner (crime) R P Upadhyay said the accused were produced in court and have been taken on remand for two days for questioning. Cops said more arrests were likely in the case and around a dozen people were being questioned. At least two more people have been detained as suspects, sources said.

The cops busted the plot after tracking down the student who had received the question paper from Tauqeer. In his questioning, Tauqeer spilled the beans and led to the arrest of the other two. During interrogation, the accused allegedly revealed that the plan to leak the paper was hatched last week after the two school teachers were put on exam duty.

The schoolteachers would open the envelope of the question paper around 9-9.15am and click its photograph on their smartphone. The scheduled time (for opening the envelope) was 9.45am,” joint commissioner (crime) Alok Kumar said.

Tauqeer would either dictate the question paper to students or pass it on Whatsapp if they were close to him. The students had to appear for exam at 10.30am, but half an hour grace period was provided in view of traffic and emergencies, said an officer. The students who received papers would enter late after solving the question paper in the 45 minutes time they got. The students were charged around Rs 2,500 for the leaked paper.

The accused have also revealed that two days before the exam, Rishabh and Rohit had partially opened a paper and wrote some of the questions on a sheet and sent it to Tauqeer for a demo. The plan was finalised after the trial run went without glitches.

The police have seized the mobile phones of the suspects and sent it for forensic analysis. Cops say they have deleted several messages and even tried to format their phones. The forensic examination of the phone is expected to reveal crucial details about the modus operandi and names of their associates, police said.

Meanwhile, cops said that they have traced the students who had sent the mail to CBSE asking them to cancel the papers. Their involvement in the leaks has not emerged yet.

The three men are being questioned to find out whether they have leaked other question papers as well. During interrogation, Tauqeer has told the cops that he had decided to leak the question papers to a select group of students hoping that they would score well in the subject, which would improve his credibility as a coaching teacher. The students who received the leaked paper were found to be from the same school where Rohit and Rishabh taught.

The role of the owner of the coaching centre is also under scrutiny. Police sources said some more CBSE officials could be involved. Tauqeer claimed this was the first time he had attempted to procure a paper. A case under sections of criminal breach of trust (406 IPC), cheating (420 IPC) and criminal conspiracy (120B) has been registered against the three men. The CBSE official who was suspended is the first board employee against whom action has been initiated after the exam paper leak probe was initiated last week.

“On the direction of the HRD Minister @PrakashJavdekar to take swift action against culprits, the board has suspended K S Rana, the official found lax in supervising examination centre (0859) with immediate effect. A formal inquiry has been instituted,” Swarup tweeted.

Updated: April 1, 2018 — 9:57 pm

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