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3 key accused in Gujarat constable exam paper leak case held

Ahmedabad: Three key accused in the Gujarat constable examination paper leak case of last month have been arrested, the state’s top police officer said Wednesday, taking the number of those behind bars in the matter to 15.

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Investigations have revealed the accused were part of a gang which had stolen an exam paper meant for recruitment of police constables in Gujarat from a printing press at Manipal town in Karnataka in November, said Director General of Police Shivanand Jha.

The trio, key accused in the case, was arrested Tuesday from different parts of the country and brought to Gandhinagar, where an FIR was registered last month, he told reporters in the state capital.

Earlier, 12 people, including candidates who had allegedly paid money for the leaked paper, were arrested by the police in the case.

The recruitment exam, originally scheduled on December 2 last year, was called off at the last moment after the authorities came to know about the paper leak.

A fresh exam will be held on January 6.

The DGP said the trio was part of a professional gang involved in leaking papers of many such competitive exams in the past.

They were identified by the police as Vinay Arora of Sonepat in Haryana, and Mahadev Dattatrey and Vinod Rathod, both from Bidar in Karnataka.

Two other key accused – Vinod Chhikara, a suspended constable of the Delhi police, and Vinay Mathur – are still on the run, said Jha.

According to the DGP, Arora and his gang, active in Haryana and Delhi, came to know in November that an exam paper of Haryana police recruitment will be printed at a press in Manipal.

“As directed by Arora and Chhikara, some of his gang members went to Manipal and conducted recce of the printing press with the help of Rathod and Dattatrey.

“On the night of November 21, Rathod and some other members entered the press building after breaking a window grille on its backside,” said Jha.

After entering inside, Rathod found a question paper which he thought was for the Haryana police’s recruitment exam, the senior IPS officer said.

“Gang members took that paper and came out. No one had learned about the theft as the gang members had put the grille back before fleeing the spot,” Jha said.

When the gang members reached Delhi, they realised they have stolen the question paper of the Gujarat police’s recruitment, not of the Haryana police, he said.

Arora then contacted one Virendra Mathur and sold the exam paper for Rs 50 lakh, the DGP said.

Mathur is a dreaded criminal who had been involved in similar offences in the past, Jha said, adding he was arrested in December 2017 for leaking a paper of the Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board.

“Mathur then activated his own network in Gujarat to sell the leaked paper. With the help of his agents in Gujarat, some candidates, who agreed to pay Rs 5 lakh each, went to Delhi to get the leaked paper,” said Jha.

Efforts were on to nab Mathur, Chhikara and other accused, the DGP said.

According to Jha, around 9 lakh candidates were to appear for the December 2 examination for 9,713 posts of constable across 2,440 centres in Gujarat.

PTI

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