The tuition teacher arrested on Monday in connection with the leak of an SSC exam question paper also leaked papers of four other subjects that lakhs of students across the state appeared for last week, investigators claimed.
Police has so far revealed that Firoz Abdul Majid Khan (45), who teaches Math at a school in Ambernath and runs Brilliance Coaching Classes in Mumbra, also leaked papers for exams held on March 10 (Maths – I), March 12 (Maths – II), March 14 (Science – I) and March 16 (Science – II).
Khan was arrested on Monday after three students were caught at the M.V.M. Swami Muktanand High School on Veera Desai Road, Andheri West, who allegedly received the History and Political Science papers minutes before the exam was due to begin.
After finding pictures of the paper on the Instagram account of a student, the police arrested Khan, Imran Shaikh (40), an employee at Khan’s coaching class in Mumbra and Anwarul Hassan (22), an engineering student living in Madanpura, central Mumbai. On Tuesday, the police also arrested 21-year-old Rohit Singh, a teacher at Brilliance Coaching Classes in Mumbra.
“Khan would break open the seal of the question papers at 9.15 am, take pictures and send them to Singh, who would tell answers to the students and then send them to their exam centres,” said Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak, who is part of the investigation team.
According to the police, sealed packets containing exam papers are to be opened at the exam halls by invigilators half-an -hour prior to the scheduled time in the presence of two students. “We are inquiring with the school why this procedure was not followed,” added Nayak.
Singh, Nayak claimed, is a science specialist who teaches at least at five coaching classes in Mumbra, Ambernath and Badlapur, where he lives. He was produced in court on Wednesday evening and was remanded to police custody for five days by a magistrate.
His lawyer argued that Singh only taught at Khan’s classes and was not involved in distributing copies of exam papers to students. “My client is pursuing a B.Ed degree and tutors students at the classes of the accused. He is not involved is distributing question papers,” said the lawyer.
Singh’s uncle, Amul Singh, claimed that he was innocent of the charges levelled against him by the police. The police have also claimed that Khan is the source from whom 15 students at Kalyan’s Sacred Heart School acquired copies of Monday’s exam paper in advance.
Nayak added that Hassan also sold copies of the exam paper to several students in Mumbai for between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000 each. “The student caught from Veera Desai Road got the papers from him,” an officer claimed, adding that the police were tracing other students who were in contact with Hassan. Detailed inquiries with the students will be made after the exams are over, the police said. The education board has now issued a notice to the school from where the question papers were leaked.
“We have asked the principal to explain to us how the pilferage happened. Depending on their response, we will decide whether to initiate an inquiry,” said Subhash Borse, in-charge secretary, Mumbai division of Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education.