December 25, 2021 3:17:31 am
Principal, clerk and peon of a college of Babra town in Amreli district along with three students were detained by police on Friday after they allegedly leaked the question paper of third semester economics exam of the Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) programme of the Saurashtra University (SU) on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, the SU declared the examination conducted on Thursday as null and void and announced a re-examination on January 3. The varsity said that Surya Offset, Sanand, the printing press under scanner for the alleged leak of head clerk recruitment examination question paper, had printed the economics question papers but added it was not clear yet where it was leaked from.
Hours after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers alleged that the question paper for economics exam was being circulated on WhatsApp groups before the examination began at 10 am on Thursday, controller of examination of SU filed a complaint with University police station. An FIR under Indian Penal Code sections, including 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant or agent) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy), was registered on Friday.
Dilawar Kureshi, principal of Sardar Patel Law College (SPLC) in Babra town of Amreli, SPLC’s clerk Rahul Panchasara, peon Bhikhu Sejaliya, and third semester BCom students Paras Rajgor, Divyesh Dhaduk and Ellise Chowatiya from different colleges were also detained.
SPLC was one of the 80 examination centres where BCom examinations were going on since December 22.
Addressing a press conference, Manoharsinh Jadeja, deputy commissioner of police (zone-II), said that Kureshi broke the seal of packet of question papers delivered to his chamber at 8 am Thursday, clicked photos of one of the papers and sent them to Panchasara. “The principal claims that he leaked the paper at the request of the peon. However, prima facie, no financial transaction took place for leaking the question paper,” said Jadeja.
The DCP added that the peon had requested the principal and the clerk to oblige his relative Paras Rajgor, who was to take the examination on Thursday, with a copy of the question paper. “Paras then forwarded the photos of the question paper to his friend Dhaduk, who, in turn, forwarded them to Chowatiya. Chowatiya shared the photos of the paper in a WhatsApp group,” said Jadeja.
Police said that Rajgor, Dhaduk and Chowatiya are residents of Mevasa village of Surendranagar district, Santhali village of Rajkot district and Kotda Pitha
village of Amreli district respectively and are studying in different colleges.
“All six have been detained and we are questioning them. Their Covid test reports are awaited and we shall arrest them if they test negative,” said inspector AS Chavda, in charge of University police station.
After declaring the exam as void, professor Nitin Pethani, vice-chancellor (VC) of Saurashtra University, said, “After receiving complaints, we filed a police complaint. Primary investigation revealed that the paper started circulating on WhatsApp groups around an hour before the examination. Therefore, we decided to declare the examination as null and void and reconduct the examination on January 3.”
Professor Pethani said that examination for third semester of B.Com was held began at 80 examination centres on December 22 and around 18,000 students attended the economics paper on Thursday. Around 2 pm, AAP workers complained to the VC alleging that the paper had been leaked. Late on Thursday, the varsity gave a complaint to university police station and subsequently an FIR was lodged.
“We have registered an FIR under IPC Sections 406 (criminal breach of trust), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, banker, merchant or agent), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), etc., and started investigation. A few persons have been detained and they are being questioned,” said inspector AS Chavda, in charge of University police station.
“Surya offset was awarded the contract of printing after it emerged the L1 (the one which has quoted the lowest cost) in tendering. It is not clear where the question paper was leaked from,” Prof Pethani added.
Having its headquarters in Rajkot, SU is one of the largest public universities in the state in terms of enrolment of students. It has the jurisdiction over Rajkot, Morbi, Surendranagar, Jamnagar, Devbhumi Dwarka and Porbandar districts.
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