Dibrugarh/Guwahati, March 11: With their textbooks opened in front of them, 10 students were found writing their higher secondary (Plus 2) Assamese paper at the residence of their college principal today.
Dibrugarh police arrested the students and principal-cum-proprietor of the NE Junior College, Anil Singh. They were tipped off by members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) around 2.30 pm. A woman invigilator of the college was also arrested.
The incident comes just a fortnight after the matric maths paper leak rocked Assam. The 10 students were found writing their answerscripts in the bedroom and kitchen of Singh’s residence, located at A lane of West Milannagar, by AASU activists and the police.
Given the furore over the matric maths paper leak that led to the resignation of the chairman of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (Seba), today’s development would give a fresh fillip to the AASU’s demand for an overhaul of the education system.
Singh, the prime accused, had been arrested twice in the past for allegedly running a fake marksheet racket at Dibrugarh University and also for his involvement in a fake currency racket.
Investigating officer S.C. Hazari said the arrested students include nine boys and one girl. They are Lakhi Gogoi, Sudipta Biswas, Animesh Nandi, Maninder Singh, Parag Gogoi, Shyamal Das, Jayanta Sonowal, Dipta Biswas, Deba Prasad Mohan and Dulumoni Saikia. The invigilator, Juri Sarma, was also arrested. All the examinees were students of Singh’s college.
The police also seized some answerscripts, question papers and marksheets from Singh’s residence.
Confirming the episode, P. Kalita, controller of examinations of the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, which conducts the Plus 2 examinations, said the college was neither affiliated to the council nor were the students registered with it.
“It appears the prime accused had staged the examinations . We thank the police and the AASU for busting the racket. The question paper and admit cards appear to have been forged,” he said.
Kalita said the council would meet on Monday to review the situation and appoint a senior official to visit Dibrugarh and conduct an on-the-spot inquiry. “We will blacklist the college as Singh’s record hardly inspires confidence,” Kalita said.
It is rumoured that Singh has established a very good network with some corrupt officials of the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council, because of which he was able to operate his racket.
Pleading innocence, one of the arrested students, Dulumoni, said she was not aware that what she was indulging in any malpractice. However, she was a loss to explain why she was writing her papers in Singh’s kitchen.
“We demand a high-level inquiry into the links between the arrested person and the council,” said Nayan Jyoti Khankar, secretary of the Dibrugarh town unit of the AASU.
Singh admitted during preliminary interrogation by the police that he had conducted similar examinations for the other HS papers. Today was the last day of the examinations.