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Student cuts blue-tooth in cheating

Suri, June 26: He mastered the art of marrying technology with theatre but could not stop murmuring — a fairly high-risk occupational hazard when you are in the business of cheating in an exam hall.

A BA student writing the first-year philosophy paper at a Birbhum college was caught taking down answers over a bluetooth headset covered by a wig today.

Invigilators at Suri Vidyasagar College became suspicious when they saw the student, whose name is being withheld because no formal police complaint has been lodged, mumbling continuously.

When the invigilators threatened to call police following repeated warnings, the student of Abhedananda College in Birbhum’s Sainthia broke down, took off his wig and showed the bluetooth device. He ran away from the Suri Vidyasagar College principal’s chamber.

A bluetooth headset allows a person to speak on a cellphone without holding the phone to the ear. Some models of bluetooth headsets are barely a couple of inches long and less than an inch wide and when fitted to a person’s ear, can be difficult to spot from a distance. Bluetooth is a technology for exchanging data between electronic devices wirelessly. Typically, for such an exchange to happen, two bluetooth-enabled devices need to be within 10 metres of each other. Using a bluetooth headset for telephone conversations while keeping the mobile phone in the pocket is a common practice among those who have to use phones on the move.

“We were shocked when he pulled off his wig and revealed the headset, clipped to his ear. Never had we seen such a mode of cheating,” said Laxmi Narayan Mondal, the principal of Suri Vidyasagar College.

The student, a resident of Rampurhat town, was sitting somewhere in the middle of room No. 206 of the college’s Rabindra Bhavan building. Around 60 students were in the room.

“Initially, we thought he had kept his hair long. But after the question paper was given, we saw him murmuring to himself and softly repeating questions. We asked him why he was doing so. He said it was his habit to murmur while reading or writing. We advised him to control himself,” one of the five invigilators said.

But within 15 minutes, the student again began murmuring. The invigilators found this “odd” and got suspicious. After about an hour, the five invigilators told him that he would not be allowed to continue writing the paper if he failed to explain his conduct.

“When he was unable to do so, we threatened to call the police. He started weeping, took off his wig and revealed the headset. We took him to the principal. But while the invigilators were explaining the situation to the principal, the student ran out and escaped,” a teacher said.

The principal informed the police and expressed his wish to deposit the wig and the bluetooth headset.

“But the police did not accept these since no formal complaint was lodged. However, the principal wrote a letter to Suri police station, informing it about the incident,” the teacher said.

The principal of Abhendananda College, Tapan Kumar Pramanik, told The Telegraph: “I have heard about the incident. However, the Suri Vidyasagar College authorities have not informed me about it officially.”