HS examinees went on the rampage at two test centres on Friday, breaking furniture, throwing stones and attacking officials, because they were not allowed to cheat.
Trouble broke out at Bethuadahari JCM High School, under Nakashipara police station in Nadia, and Kabi Keshablal Vidyapith in Bongaon, North 24-Parganas, after the day’s exams ended. Police had to rush to the schools to control the situation.
Examinees at Kabi Keshablal Vidyapith, who study at Bongaon High School, wanted invigilators to give them “chits”, small pieces of paper with parts of answers written, during their chemistry and history exams.
Because the invigilators refused to do so, a group of examinees gheraoed headmaster Narayan Biswas and demanded to know why they had not been “helped”. They alleged that some non-teaching employees of the school had taken money from another group of examinees and supplied them chits. When the headmaster denied the allegation, the students ransacked his office and classrooms.
Later, residents of the area assembled in front of the school to protest the ransacking and beat up an examinee.
A police officer said students of Sudhakarpur High School, who wrote their history paper at Bethuadahari JCM High School, ransacked the examination hall after submitting their answer scripts.
An invigilator said the students were abusing them from the start of the examination and demanding that they be allowed to copy from books and chits. “We tried to persuade them to write their papers but they continued to abuse us,” he added.
A teacher at Bethuadahari JCM High School said: “The students started the fracas by abusing the invigilators. Later, they broke chairs, tables, desks and damaged blackboards.”
Two non-teaching employees and a Class XI student of the Bethuadahari school were injured in the violence. Group D employees Ashish Chatterjee and Basudeb Mandal sustained minor injuries in their attempt to stop the students.
A teacher said one of the stones thrown by the examinees hit Class XI student Maheswar Ghosh, who was admitted to Bethuadahari hospital.
The Nadia superintendent of police, S.R. Mishra, said: “We have detained one student, who allegedly started the trouble and abused invigilators. We are questioning him.”
“We have sought detailed reports from the headmasters of the two schools. Appropriate action will be taken against those who created trouble,” said Muktinath Chatterjee, president, West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education. The council also informed Bratya Basu, the school education minister, about the violence.
A week before the HS started, the minister had promised to take all possible steps to prevent cheating and violence during the exam after a meeting with district magistrates and superintendents of police at Writers’ Buildings.
Basu had recently said at a function that “cheating is a social menace and the state government is taking every possible measure to prevent all kinds of malpractices during examinations”.
Amit Kumar Jha, Randhir Kumar Singh, Anand Tiwari and Kuljit Biswas were arrested from their office on Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road on Thursday night for allegedly cheating youths by promising them jobs in reputable companies. A JU BTech had lodged a complaint against them. The four allegedly ran AKS Associate and Recruitment and www.jobadda.com.