In its efforts to unearth the conspiracy behind the CBSE paper leaks, the Delhi Crime Branch has questioned 10 more people and “interacted” with the CBSE controller of examinations in connection with the case.
The police have questioned 35 people by now, , including a coaching centre’s owner, 18 students and some tutors, PTI reported quoting an official privy to the investigations.
On Thursday, police personnel also “interacted with the CBSE controller of examination for two hours” to understand the process of conducting exams, he said.
The official said things like how the paper is set, details of where the question papers are kept and how they are distributed to various examination centres were discussed.
The CBSE has also said that its chairperson had received an e-mail about the Class 10 mathematics paper being leaked a day before the exam, police officials told PTI.
CBSE’s Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economic papers were leaked on WhatsApp after which the board announced re-examination of these papers.
The economics and mathematics exams were held on March 26 and March 28 respectively.
Interestingly, on March 26, the CBSE had denied reports of the question paper being leaked through social media and WhatsApp several hours before the paper commenced .
Urging students and parents not to panic, a senior CBSE official said,“We have checked with all examination centres and the paper was not leaked. The source of the circulation of this information is not known yet. We want to urge the students and parents to not panic and assure them that the board is doing its best to ensure sanctity of the examination.”
However, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on March 28 announced that it will reconduct the examinations for Class XII Economics and Class X Mathematics in view of 'certain reported irregularities'.
According to an official notification, the CBSE board will announce fresh dates on its official website within a week.
Delhi Police seeks info from Google on email sent to CBSE chief Anita Karwal
Meanwhile, Delhi Police’s Crime Branch has sought a reply from Google on an email sent to CBSE chief Anita Karwal the night before Class 10 Mathematics exam.
According to the police FIR, the email was received at 1:30am on March 28. The email contained 12 pages of .jpg (photo) attachments of the hand-written question papers leaked on WhatsApp. The sender of the email had asked the CBSE chief to cancel the examination.
PM Modi expresses unhappiness
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today spoke to Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar and conveyed his unhappiness over the CBSE paper leak, news agency ANI reported.
Quoting its sources, the report said that the prime minister directed the HRD minister to take strict action against the culprits in this case.
"Some parts of the paper were leaked on WhatsApp and we've made Police complaint regarding it. Investigation is underway and strict action will be taken. We have also decided to tighten security for the time when papers are being distributed," HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar said after the PM reportedly spoke to him.
"The examinations are conducted across the country but this has been reported only from a few schools in Delhi. Cabinet has approved for National Testing Agency to come into effect from next year to ensure leak-proof examination," he added.
Delhi Police probe continues
The Delhi Police has registered two cases. The first case in connection with the leak of the economics paper was lodged on March 27 and the case pertaining to the mathematics paper was lodged on March 28, following a complaint by the regional director of the CBSE.
The cases were registered on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
In the complaint pertaining to the mathematics paper, the board has said that a day before the exam, an e-mail was received on the CBSE chairperson’s official ID informing about the leak, the officials said.
In the mail the sender had stated that the mathematics paper was leaked on WhatsApp and that it should be cancelled, they said.
The mail also contained attachments of the handwritten mathematics paper allegedly leaked on WhatsApp, according to the complaint.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising two deputy commissioners of police, four assistant commissioners of police and five inspectors has been set up to investigate the matter.
The team is being supervised by the joint commissioner of police (crime).
Students, Congress workers hold protests across Delhi
Students and Congress youth leaders on FRiday held protests in several parts of the national capital against CBSE board papers being leaked, accusing the board of negligence and demanding immediate action against the guilty.
While some students gathered at Parliament Street in the heart of the city, members of the Congress’ National Students Union of India (NSUI) began marching towards Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar’s residence but were stopped.
Student groups and the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) also demonstrated outside the CBSE headquarters in east Delhi’s Preet Vihar, raising various demands, including an independent investigation.
Watch Video: CBSE Students, Congress hold protests across Delhi
“The leaks have exposed the capture of the highest academic institutions by the exam mafia under the watch of the Modi government as well as the abdication of authority by the HRD minister and the CBSE chairperson,” NSUI leader Neeraj Mishra said.
He added that they would demand the resignations of Javadekar and CBSE chairperson Anita Karwal.
The NSUI’s list of demands includes announcement of the retest of the Class 10 maths and the Class 12 economics papers as early as possible. They are also demanding that students should not be forced to take the retest.
Though the NSUI march was stopped at the Udyog Bhawan metro station, a short distance from Javadekar’s Kushak Road residence, NSUI president Fairoz Khan and DUSU vice president Kunal Sehrawat were taken by Delhi Police to meet the minister.
Javadekar assured them that a decision on the issues raised by them would be taken by the end of the day, Sehrawat told PTI.
A delegation of the RSS-backed ABVP also met the union minister raising similar demands, including necessary procedural changes to ensure “leak-proof” exams and early declaration of the retest dates keeping in mind other competitive exams, said a leader.
The Congress’ Delhi wing, DPCC, shouted slogans outside the CBSE headquarters, demanding an independent investigation into the issue.
Earlier in the day, scores of students also demonstrated outside the CBSE headquarters, asking for an early resolution to their problems.
The CBSE announced a retest of the two papers earlier this week following reports that the papers were leaked.