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Council to probe teacher arrests

The West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education on Saturday decided to conduct an independent probe after two examiners were arrested on charges of seeking bribes from examinees.

Manoj Pandey and Shyamsundar Agarwal, teachers of economic geography in a Higher Secondary (HS) school in Jagaddal, North 24-Parganas, were picked up on Friday after several guardians lodged complaints with the Jadavpur police station that the two had promised to increase the marks of their wards in the economic geography paper of HS 2003 in exchange for a substantial amount. The Jadavpur police contacted the Jagaddal thana and the duo was taken into custody for a week.

“We will start an independent inquiry after receiving the police report,” said Council secretary Dibyendu Chakraborty.

According to police, Pandey and Agarwal used to collect addresses of the HS examinees whose answer-scripts they were checking. They would send their “representatives” to their guardians asking for money “if they wanted their children to score more marks”.

State education department officials were tight-lipped about what disciplinary action would be taken against the two teachers. “We will take a decision once we get all the information from the police,” said Council president Jyotirmoy Mukherjee.

According to Mukherjee, a camp was organised in Salt Lake after HS 2002, where examiners of some language papers were asked to check answer-scripts at the venue. “But this time, no such camp could be conducted due to infrastructural problems,” he added.

Police are interrogating Pandey and Agarwal for leads. “We are probing if the teachers are a part of a wider racket,” said Rajesh Singh, additional superintendent of police (industrial).

nSergeants beaten up: Traffic sergeants P. Chattopadhyay and R.N. Mukherjee were beaten up at Bagmari Bazar on Saturday when they tried to prosecute two drivers of private buses on routes 215 and 46 for rash driving. Both the buses were impounded. The drivers fled before Maniktala police could reach the spot.

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