Patna, Feb. 16: The special investigation team (SIT) has identified a resident of Nalanda as the alleged mastermind behind the leak of question papers of the clerical grade examination conducted by the Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC).
Interrogation of six persons taken on remand yesterday by the SIT revealed that Sanjiv Kumar, a.ka. Guruji, planned the entire operation, sources in the probe team told this paper. A resident of Noorsarai in Nalanda district, Sanjiv is believed to be an old associate of Ranjit Don, who had earlier shot into notoriety for leaking the question papers of the combined medical and engineering entrance exam.
Inspector-general of police (Patna zone) Nayyar Hasnain Khan said a team had been sent been sent to Nalanda to arrest Sanjiv.
SIT sources also said that Sanjiv's wife was a mukhiya (panchayat head) and enjoyed the blessings of an influential political leader of the region.
The sources suspect that Sanjiv was aided in this operation by his associate Abhishek, a resident of neighbouring Sheikhpura district, who was earlier arrested for impersonating in a competitive examination.
Sources said Sanjiv's name first figured in an examination racket in 2010 when he was arrested in Patna. He was released in 2011 after a 10-month stint in the Beur central jail. In 2012, Abhishek was arrested and sent to Phulwarisharif jail, from where he was enlarged on bail after four months.
"Both Guruji and his associate indulged in the same offence after coming out of jail on bail," an investigating officer said, adding that their links with Ranjit Don, also a native of Nalanda district, were being verified.
Another associate of Sanjiv, identified as Rajiv Ranjan, was also on the radar of the SIT.
SIT sources said BSSC chairman Sudhir Kumar had replied to the questionnaire submitted by the probe team. An investigating officer said: "The chairman is cooperating with the investigating team. We will analyse the information provided to the SIT by him and take further action."
Patna High Court today stayed the appointments of 4,391 agriculture coordinators in the state. The bench of Justice Ravi Ranjan issued the order on a petition filed by Rajeev Nayan and others alleging irregularities in the appointments being made by the BSSC.
The petitioner's counsel, Y.V. Giri, said the commission indulged in irregularities while allotting marks for selection. Again, 13 candidates who had crossed the maximum age limit of 60 years were selected, Giri said.
He said since suspended BSSC secretary Parmeshwar Ram was involved in the appointment process, this had had an adverse impact on the fate of eligible candidates.
The court in its order said: "Let no appointment letter be issued or posting be done till February 23. In the meantime, the state as well as Bihar Staff Selection Commission file counter affidavit, if required."
Additional reporting by Nishant Sinha