At least 35 students face an uncertain future as they stare at a long probe by the police and the Maharashtra school education boards after allegedly receiving question papers to the Class X Board exams. The Indian Express explains.
Why are the leaks of question papers to the SSC exams cause for concern?
Multiple paper leaks have been detected this year — at least two question papers in three separate cases. On March 19, leaks of the History and Political Science question paper were reported at M. V. M. Swami Muktanand High School in Veera Desai Road, Andheri West and Kalyan’s Sacred Heart High School. On March 22, the Information and Communications Technology question paper was found on cellphones of a group of students at St. Jude’s High School in Saki Naka. The students were allowed to take the exams before the invigilators took them to local police stations and FIRs registered against them. In all, 35 students face investigation by the police and the board. But this is not the first instance. Stringent measures were said to have been introduced to prevent such incidents after last year’s leaks. Last year, at least six question papers of the HSC exams were leaked in similar fashion, on social media, minutes before the examination.
How did students gain access to the question papers?
Like last year, leaked papers reached several students within seconds. A timeline of the leak put together by the police from its investigation at Mumbra’s Kiddies Paradise High School points out that sealed packets containing the question papers were opened at 9.30 am by a teacher, an hour before they are supposed to be opened. He then took pictures of one paper and send it to students at his tuition class. From there, the police say, the question papers were forwarded by students to one another. Students at the school in Andheri West, the police claim, also sent it to each other using Instagram.
What investigations have authorities completed?
Six adults were arrested and eight juveniles detained by the police last week for their role in the leaked History and Political Science and ICT papers found at schools in Andheri and Kalyan.
Last Monday, the Amboli police station arrested Firoz Abdul Majid Khan (45), Imran Shaikh (40), an employee at Khan’s coaching class in Mumbra, Rohit Singh (21), a private tutor working with Khan and Anwarul Hassan (22), an engineering student living in Madanpura. Khan teaches maths at Kiddies Paradise High School in Mumbra and also runs Brilliant Tutorials nearby, where Shaikh is an employee. All four men are alleged to be involved in the leak of the History paper found in cellphones of students at M. V. M. Swami Muktanand High School. Police claimed that Khan illegally accessed papers for five exams by opening sealed packets two hours before the exam, took pictures and sent them to Singh, who taught answers to students at Brilliant Tutorials same morning.
Khan is also alleged to be the source from whom 15 students at Kalyan’s Sacred Heart High School obtained the History paper through WhatsApp. Students at the Veera Desai Road school, the police said, obtained papers from Hassan, and are alleged to have paid him between Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 5,000 each.
At St. Jude’s High School in Saki Naka last Thursday, has resulted in two arrests — of private tutors Firoz Ansari (42) and Muzammil Kazi (27). Police claim that the duo simply forwarded papers to students they knew personally and no monetary transactions has been revealed in the investigations so far.