Ten days after state government cancelled process of recruiting Grade-III employees in seven district panchayats following allegations of paper leaks, Rajkot Crime Branch registered a case against a government teacher and talati mantri on Thursday.
The Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board (GPSSB), an arm of state government had conducted written examination for selection of Grade-III employees known as talati mantris in seven districts on June 6 this year. The exam was conducted in Rajkot, Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Porbandar, Amreli, Gandhinagar and Sabarkantha for selecting staff for district panchayat bodies of these respective districts. However, there were allegations that question paper had been leaked in Sabarkantha before the examination.
Days after the written test, Rajkot district panchayat received anonymous letter alleging paper was leaked in Rajkot also. In turn, Rajkot district panchayat officials sent the letter to city police commissioner on July 23 requesting suitable action. The matter was handed over to Crime Branch which conducted a primary inquiry and registered a complaint on August 13.
The FIR names Vikram Makwana, a teacher at government primary school in Meghpar village of Maliya taluka of Morbi district, Hardas Dangar, a talati mantri of Haripar Pal village in Rajkot district and Dangar’s brother Dinesh, a resident of Moti Baral village in Maliya taluka. The trio have been booked for breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy.
“There is prima facie evidence against the accused. Mobile call data records and guest register of The Grand Bhagvati (TGB) hotel confirm location and presence of the accused as alleged in the anonymous application. Behaviour of the teacher also suggests criminality as he has not been reporting at his school and he has been on the run since reports of allegations of paper leaks came to light,” Crime Branch police inspector Keval Raval told The Indian Express on Friday.
The anonymous application alleged that Hardas had booked two rooms in TGB on the eve of the examination and accommodated 10 relatives who were to take the recruitment examination. At the hotel room, Makwana allegedly shared leaked question paper with the 10 and made them practise its answers.
“We believe the paper was certainly leaked. However, as to how Makwana accessed the paper is a matter of investigation,” the Police Inspector, who is investigating the case, further said.
After allegations and complaints of paper leaks, the state government had not announced results of the June 6 examination and instead declared the test void on August 4. The government has announced that the test will be taken again on August 23 while Amreli and Bhavnagar will have it on August 16.
More than 40,000 candidates had taken the June 6 test in Rajkot for being selected against the 192 posts of talati mantris. Crime Branch officials said no arrest or detention was made in connection with the case till Friday.