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JEE imposter flees after test

A JEE candidate identified as an imposter while writing the maths paper at a Hooghly institute on Sunday managed to flee, prompting the authorities to start a probe against the centre-in-charge and the observer of the joint entrance board.

“The imposter was appearing for the engineering entrance examination as Akash Kumar Shaw,” said a board official.

Invigilators at Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology, a private engineering college in Guptipara, about 80km from the city, became suspicious after noticing that the youth’s face was not matching the photograph on the admit card shortly after the maths exam started at 9.30am.

Maths was the first paper in the engineering entrance test, followed by physics and chemistry.

“While the candidate had close-cropped hair, in the photograph Akash appeared having a regular cut. The signature on the attendance sheet, too, did not match. Following the standard procedure, the candidate was segregated after the maths exam and questioned,” the official said.

Board sources said the candidate fumbled while answering questions related to information Akash had provided in the application form.

“An observer deputed by the board took a picture of the candidate on his cell phone and mailed it to the board’s Salt Lake headquarters. Using a software we checked how the youth would look with a regular haircut and became certain that he was not Shaw,” said the official.

Since the process of verification took time, the candidate was allowed to write the physics test, which continued from 12.30pm to 2pm. “By then the centre-in-charge and the board observer were told that the candidate should be taken to a separate room after the physics test and handed over to police. But we came to know that the candidate went missing after the physics test,” the official added.

JEE board chairman Bhaskar Gupta said a probe would be started to find out why the candidate could not be handed over to the police despite being identified as imposter. “Stern action will be taken against those tasked with overseeing the exam if it is found that the candidate had fled because of their laxity,” said Gupta.

Later, the principal of Saroj Mohan Institute of Technology, Bidhan Ghosh, lodged an FIR against Akash Kumar Shaw with Balagarh police station. “We have launched a probe,” said the superintendent of Hooghly police, Sunil Kumar Chowdhuri.

A JEE candidate was arrested on the charge of impersonation while writing the biology paper at Agartala Women’s College on Saturday.

A board official said the candidate from Ajmer admitted that he had been paid Rs 10,000 to write the exam on behalf of a candidate from Bengal.