The Probe into the Mumbai University exam scam busted in May has revealed that answer sheets of engineering students had been tampered with in December 2015 too, but had went unnoticed then.
In May, university staffers, including peons, were arrested by the Bhandup police for allegedly tampering with answer sheets of engineering students to help them score more.
According to the police, the officials received WhatsApp images of hall tickets, and allegedly pulled out the corresponding answer sheets from the examination house at the Kalina campus.
They handed these over to some agents, who took them to students who wrote correct answers in spaces deliberately left blank during the examination. The answer sheets were then returned to the stacks in the examination house.
The police arrested Prabhakar Vaze (50), the security hawaldar employed by the university; clerks Sandeep Jadhav (28), Rohan More (25), Siddhesh Jadhav (26), and peons Dinkar Mhatre (34), Mithun More (28), Chiman Solanki (41)and Sanjay Kumbhar (24). Of the arrests, Vaze, police say, is the main accused entrusted with the job of keeping the papers safe.
An officer said that in most cases, a student paid anything between Rs 10,000 to 20,000, of which the largest share was Vaze’s.
Despite not being able to account for 60 of the 159 answer sheets missing from the university, the Bhandup police submitted their chargesheet in July.
The statements of Rohan More, Sanjay Kumbhar and Mithun More indicate the racket was underway in December 2015 too, five months before the Bhandup police busted the scam.
In his statement to the police, Rohan More talks of asking Vaze to keep watch while he removed the papers.
“On December 20, 2015 I had removed 14-15 engineering papers and gave it to students for Rs 7,000 each. Of that, Vaze would get Rs 4,000 and I kept Rs 3,000. In May 2016, with the help of Vaze, I took out 14-15 papers again and gave them to students for Rs 8,000 and split the amount between ourselves,” More’s statement read.
A peon at the Mumbai university’s Kalina campus since October 2013, Mithun More in his statement claimed that in December 2015, he was contacted by a student.
The student asked if it was possible to smuggle answersheets out of the university. More then took the student’s seat number and passed it on to peons Chiman Solanki and Sanjay Kumbhar, his statement says.
Rajesh Pradhan, zonal deputy commissioner of police, could not be reached for a comment.
“Before the May incident, it happened in the year 2012. I have taken charge only eight months ago. I am not aware of any such developments in the police’s investigation. We have not been informed,” said Deepak Wasave, the Controller of Exams at the Mumbai University.