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CID files 5 more FIRs in Karnataka Police Sub-Inspector recruitment scam case

The CID probe has found that candidates, who had paid a middleman in the range of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 80 lakh, were provided access to members of an answering team constituted to cheat in the exam.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: August 6, 2022 10:26:11 am
The CID has already arrested 35 of the 545 selected candidates for cheating in the exam through various means. (Representational Photo)

The analysis of cell phone usage data from the mobile covering three colleges which served as centres for a police sub-inspector recruitment exam in the Kalaburagi city in north Karnataka on October 3, 2021, has revealed the identities of seven candidates who cheated in the test by receiving answers through Bluetooth devices they had smuggled into the exam halls.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Karnataka police, which is investigating the case, has filed five new FIRs against these seven candidates, and several agents and police officials who were part of the conspiracy. The CID has already arrested 35 of the 545 selected candidates for cheating in the exam through various means.

In the latest leg of the investigation, the CID analysed cell usage data for the Sri Sharanabasaveshwar College of Arts, Science and Commerce in Vidyanagar in Kalaburagi, the Godutayi College for Women at Vidyanagar and the Government Degree College on Sedam Road for October 3, 2021, and found the mobile numbers that were active for long periods between 3 pm and 4.30 pm when the exam was on.

The analysis of the phone numbers involved in the long conversations at the colleges has revealed that they included chats between candidates — Bhagavatharaya, Raviraj, Kallappa, Peerappa, Sharanbasappa, Siddugouda and Balwantappa – and a team constituted by a key kingpin in the exam racket, R D Patil, to provide answers via Bluetooth devices to candidates who had paid.

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Among the new candidates named in the police exam scam are the first, third, fourth, and eighth rank holders for the Kalyana Karnataka region in the police sub-inspectors recruitment exam.

The CID probe has found that candidates, who had paid middleman Patil in the range of Rs 30 lakh to Rs 80 lakh, were provided access to members of an answering team constituted to cheat in the exam. The police were able to identify the candidates who were involved in the cheating by finding the persons in whose names the SIM cards were registered that were used for the long conversations during the exam.

The “answering team” members named by the CID in the exam scam in the new FIRs are Kashinath, Shrisail, Rajashekhar, Somanath and Mallappa.

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The exam scam surfaced after it was found that one of the selected candidates, Veeresh H, who obtained 121 marks in the exam, had only answered questions for 31.5 marks (out of a total of 150 marks in the objective section). Candidates, who were not selected, approached the government after the news went viral. The CID was asked to investigate the scam by the Karnataka government on April 7 this year.

The Karnataka government annulled the results of the exam on April 29 after the CID reported large-scale rigging of the results.

The exam scam is alleged to have occurred at multiple levels with seven candidates, who wrote the exam in the Kalaburagi region — in a private school owned by a former BJP functionary — being assisted by school staff, invigilators, and others in filling the OMR sheets on the basis of answer keys given via Bluetooth devices by agents and middlemen placed near exam halls. In other centres in Kalaburagi, the answers were allegedly given directly to candidates via Bluetooth devices.

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In Bengaluru, candidates wrote the exams at multiple centres, and their OMR sheets were modified at the police recruitment cell, the CID investigation found. The CID has registered 12 FIRs over the exam scam. The overall first rank holder of the exam, Kushal Kumar J, who obtained 167.75 marks out of 200, was arrested in Bengaluru on June 8 after the investigations revealed that his OMR sheet had been altered after the conclusion of the exam.

An IPS officer of the rank of Additional Director General of Police, Amrit Paul, who headed the police recruitment cell when the scam occurred, was also arrested by the CID on July 4. 12 policemen involved with the recruitment or the security for the recruitment have also been arrested by the CID.

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First published on: 06-08-2022 at 10:23:56 am

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