Delhi police after 5 days of paper leaks now arrested CBSE teachers opened the sealed question papers, took photos on their mobile phones, and shared them with a coaching centre tutor in a private coaching centre in Bawana.
Two teachers of a private school and a coaching centre tutor, all from outer Delhi, have been arrested for allegedly leaking CBSE’s Class 12 economics paper over an hour before the March 26 exam, police said on Sunday.
The three also solved the paper, and forwarded the question papers and answers to other students through WhatsApp for between Rs 2,000 and Rs 5,000, police said.
Hours later, the ministry of human resource development (HRD) responded to the breakthrough in the investigation and suspended a Central Board of Secondary Education official who was supervising the examination centre in question. The official, KS Rana, was found to be “lax” in his duties, tweeted Anil Swarup, secretary, school education and literacy, HRD ministry.
The two teachers opened the sealed question papers, took photos on their mobile phones, and shared them with a tutor in a private coaching centre in Bawana.
“Rana was the custodian of the question papers. It is hard to believe the leak could have happened without his connivance. We will question him soon,” said a senior investigator who asked not to be named.
The teachers have been identified as Rishabh, 29, and Rohit, 26, and the coaching centre tutor as 26-year-old Tauqeer Hasan, police said, giving only one name for the two accused teachers.
Hasan taught math at Easy Classes, a coaching centre in Asthal Colony in Bawana. Rishabh taught physics and Rohit taught math at the Mother Khazani Convent School in Mungeshpur, along the Delhi-Haryana border.
The chairperson of the school, Chaudhary Swarup Singh, said the leak happened “outside the institution” but did not question the police’s contention that the teachers were involved.
This nexus, which Delhi Police has perceptibly busted, is one of at least two sets of the economics paper that was leaked. Another set was leaked the previous evening on WhatApp groups, highlighting that the security was breached at several points in the CBSE’s purportedly foolproof paper-setting and distribution system.
“The economics paper was also leaked in the form of a hand-written document a day before the exam. That is a separate case and we are trying to crack it,” said Alok Kumar, joint commissioner of police (crime branch).
Kumar is heading a special investigating team consisting of two deputy commissioners of police probing separately the maths and economics paper leaks.
The investigators are also yet to make a breakthrough in the leak of the Class 10 math paper on March 28. The arrest of three persons from Jharkhand in connection with its leak on Saturday also broke down the board and the government’s original theory that the beneficiaries were limited to the National Capital Region and Haryana.
The CBSE has announced that the economics paper will be held again on April 25 and the math paper in July, if needed, sparking nationwide outrage among students, teachers and parents.
Led by deputy commissioner of police Ram Gopal Naik, the team probing the economics module leak zeroed in on the suspects by tracking down the WhatsApp chain and found a ‘location code’ in the image of the leaked question paper.
The two schoolteachers had allegedly accessed the question paper between 9 and 9.15am on March 26, before sharing them with some students and Hasan.
On Saturday, the police had questioned the school principal and spoken to CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal at the board’s headquarters in Preet Vihar in connection with the leaks.
“The CBSE has been cooperating with us. But we need their help to know if any of their officials had a hand in the leak,” said a senior investigator.
Meanwhile, people known to Hasan alleged that he was being framed to protect people in higher positions. One of Hasan’s neighbours, Shahabuddin (who goes by one name), said he taught poor students for free and was unlikely to indulge in a crime for money.