As many as 48 people were arrested for allegedly impersonating as candidates of an examination for recruitment of constables in the state police on Sunday.
The arrests were made from parts of Howrah, Salt Lake and Lake Town, police said.
Based on a tip-off, another 37 were arrested a day before the test, on Saturday, from a hotel in Sodepur, about 16km north from Esplanade.
The West Bengal Police Recruitment Board held a written test for recruitment to the post of constables in the state police on Sunday.
Exam centres were set up in almost all the districts across the state, with the highest number being in Kolkata, followed by North 24-Parganas and Howrah.
The police said a majority of these impersonators are from Bihar and had put up in hotels and lodges a day before the exam.
Senior officers said a probe has been initiated to find out whether an organised gang is at work that is sending dummy candidates to appear on behalf of the original ones.
“A majority of these youths claim to be residents of different parts of Bihar. We are trying to find out how they got in touch of the candidates who are willing to pay them for appearing in the exam on their behalf,” said a senior police officer.
On Sunday, a dozen of the impersonators were arrested from Lavanhrad Vidyapith and Bidhannagar Government High School in Salt Lake, while 16 others were held from different examination centres across Lake Town.
Similar arrests were also made from centres across parts of Howrah, the police said.
Officers said most of them had slightly tampered with the original admit cards in a way that it would be difficult to differentiate at a glance.
The faces of most of these impersonators were close to the ones they were representing, the police said.
The arrests were made while the admit cards were being scanned at the entry gates of the exam centres, the police said.
Majority of the fake candidates could not say anything more about themselves, including the father’s name and address, beyond candidate name on the card.
“A few of them are from parts of Banka district in Bihar and had reached Howrah the day before the examination,” an officer said. “The number of impersonators trying to take such exams has been going up despite the WBPRB website clearly warning against touts and impersonators.”
The police said the role of these impersonators ends with appearing for the exams. The entire amount for the process would have to be paid in advance, irrespective of whether a candidate’s name figure on the list of qualifiers or not.
“The impersonators would usually scan the examination venue a day in advance and appear confident while walking into the hall holding the admit card in their hands,” the officer said. “We are trying to find the channel for reaching out to such impersonators.”