MU answersheet racket: 5 more tampered answer sheets seized

In the wake of an alleged engineering course answer sheets scam in Mumbai University, the police on Tuesday seized five more compromised answer papers, taking their total to 97 so far.

Police had last week unearthed the racket of alleged tampering of engineering course answer sheets to increase the scores of students in the varsity and seized 92 answer sheets and eight persons were arrested in this regard. The scam was effected allegedly by some officials of the MU in connivance with gullible students through agents.

A Bhandup police station official on Tuesday said the police have identified two more officials of the varsity who are on the run. However, he did not disclose from where and whom the answer sheets were seized today. The arrested persons included the kingpin Prabhakar Vaze (50), a havaldar (guard) in the university who keeps vigil of the storeroom where the exam papers are stored on its Kalina campus, besides three clerks and four peons.

According to police, the accused allegedly used to sneak the answer sheets out of the storeroom and hand them over to the students through agents.

The answer sheets were put back in the storeroom within 48 hours after answers were written on papers by the students at home, before they are scanned for evaluation. The lid on the racket was blown after Bhandup police received a tip-off and subsequently traced a 22-year-old student, Manoj Shendge who was acting as an agent for his friend.

Shendge's questioning led police to Vaze and others. Police had seized 92 answer sheets of the applied mathematics of the examination that was conducted on May 11 apart from Rs 1.18 lakh from the arrested persons, including Rs 45,000 from Vaze alone.

Most of the seized papers were from exam centres of Kamothe, Khargar, Airoli and Karjat, police said. The accused were booked under relevant sections of IPC and section 8 (abetment of copying) of the Maharashtra Protection of Malpractices at University and other specified Board examination Act, 1982.

Taking a serious cognisance of the matter, Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao on Sunday demanded a detailed report from MU Vice Chancellor Dr Sanjay Deshmukh.

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