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Seating arrangements rigged to help accused in Karnataka police recruitment scam

The police, who took BJP leader Divya Hagaragi and four other accused to the former’s Jnana Jyothi English Medium School as part of the investigation, learnt that many arrested candidates had got the same series of question papers during the examination.

By: Express News Service | Bengaluru |
Updated: May 9, 2022 7:34:57 am
The investigation has expanded to other districts and the CID has taken into custody a grama panchayat president in Hassan district, Keshavamurthy. (File/Representational)

The investigation into Karnataka’s sub-inspector recruitment scam has revealed that the seating arrangements were manipulated to favour a few candidates during the examination held on October 3, 2021.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID), which took BJP leader Divya Hagaragi and four other accused to Jnana Jyothi English Medium School run by the woman on Sunday as part of the investigation, learnt that many arrested candidates had got the same series of question papers. There were five series of question papers, and no two candidates seated next to each other were supposed to get question papers of the same series.

A candidate who was crucial in collecting evidence said on the condition of anonymity, “It was planned much before the examination was announced. Despite the applications being registered at various dates and time, the roll number was given in such a way that the question paper that they get would be the same. There was no break in the series. We suspect it was done so that the person who was dictating answers via Bluetooth devices would have no confusion.” This could not have been possible without the knowledge of the headquarters of the recruitment wing, the candidate told The Indian Express.

A CID official said, “We are going deep to know to what extent it worked for the aspirants and agents. But without the help of the examination organisers, it is impossible to do it.”

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The investigation has expanded to other districts and the CID has taken into custody a grama panchayat president in Hassan district, Keshavamurthy.

R Hithendra, who has taken over as additional director-general of police in the recruitment wing, has transferred 12 officials who worked in the wing for many years.

The police have found out that optical mark reader (OMR) sheets were forged, answers were dictated using Bluetooth and OMR sheets were physically shared to mark the answers.

Timeline of the police recruitment scam

January 1, 2021

A notification was issued by the police department for the direct appointment of 545 sub-inspectors.

October 3, 2021

A written examination was held at 92 centers in Karnataka and 54,287 candidates took it.

January 19, 2022

A provisional list of selected candidates was published.

First week of February 2022

Two in-service constables who had attended the examination wrote a letter to DGP Praveen Sood that there were malpractices in the examination.

Second week of February 2022

A few aspirants demanded an inquiry, alleging that Bluetooth devices were used in the examination.

March 10, 2022

To a question raised by MLA S Ravi, in the Assembly, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra replied that five aspirants had filed written complaints.

April 7, 2022

Home Minister Jnanendra directed the CID to conduct an inquiry after it emerged that one Veeresh had attempted only 21 questions of 1.5 mark each but secured 100 marks and the seventh rank.

April 9, 2022

The CID registered a case in the Chowk police station of Kalaburgi under IPC Sections 120B, 465, 468, 471, 420 read with 34. Veeresh was arrested.

By 17 April, 2022

The CID arrested seven persons, including five successful candidates. Eleven candidates who took the examination at Jnana Jyothi English Medium School had engaged in malpractices. Their OMR sheets were sent to a forensic lab. All the successful candidates were asked to submit their OMR sheets to the CID.

By April 20, 2022

The CID arrested Afzalpur Congress MLA’s gunman Hayyali Desai, who had written the test. Also, they arrested block Congress president Mahanthesh D Patil, his brother Rudragouda Patil, Rajesh Hagaragi, president of Jnana Jyothi Institution. His wife, Divya Hagaragi, and others were absconding.

April 23, 2022

Congress MLA Priyank Kharge released an audio clip and alleged that another SI recruitment exam, for 402 posts, was also compromised.

April 24, 2022

Congress MLA Kharge received a CID notice to share the information. He refused to appear before the police, stating that the clip was already in the public domain.

April 27, 2022

ADGP (recruitment) Amrit Paul was transferred and ADGP (crimes and technical services) R Hithendra was given concurrent charge of recruitment. DySP Shantha Kumar, of the recruitment wing, was also shifted.

April 29, 2022

The CID arrested Divya and several others from Pune. Home Minister Jnanendra announced a re-examination.

May 1, 2022

The CID filed a complaint at Bengaluru’s High Grounds police station against 22 candidates, of which 14 were arrested. Manjunath Melakundi, an assistant engineer, surrendered in Kalaburgi.

May 2, 2022

Kashinath D, principal of Jnana Jyothi English Medium School, surrendered before the CID.

May 4, 2022

DySP (fingerprints) RR Hosamani and an inspector of a women’s police station in Kalaburgi were suspended while Lingasur DySP Mallikarjun Sali, fingerprints section inspector Anand Mestri, constable Somanath Hiremath and several others were arrested.

May 6, 2022

Assistant commandant Vaijanath Revoor was arrested and remanded in seven-days CID custody.

May 7, 2022

Twelve officials from the recruitment wing were shifted and over 16 others of various ranks were suspended. The number of arrests went up to 48. Police sources said the posts were sold for Rs 35– Rs 70 lakh.

May 8, 2022

BJP leader Divya and others were taken to Jnana Jyothi English Medium School as part of the investigation.

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