Mumbai: Cops still don't know how HSC paper leaked

While the police are still struggling to find the source of the WhatsApp image, Board says currently there is no need of reexamination

Students, who appeared for the Book Keeping and Accountancy paper of the commerce stream on March 4, in the ongoing Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) examination, can heave a sigh of relief. There appears to be no possibility of re-examination now.

Also read: HSC accounts paper leaked on WhatsApp

HSC students at an examination centre at Khar. Police are still questioning some students while trying to trace the origin of the images of the Book Keeping and Accountancy paper that were circulated on WhatsApp. Pic for representation
HSC students at an examination centre at Khar. Police are still questioning some students while trying to trace the origin of the images of the Book Keeping and Accountancy paper that were circulated on WhatsApp. Pic for representation

While it has been more than a week since the panic over the leak of this paper, until now, police have not been able to trace the origin of a WhatsApp image of the paper shared at 10.10 am that day. This, according to the board, is not much of a serious issue to call for reexamination, as around this time the question paper bundles are opened and students are inside examination halls by 10.30 am. However, the cops are still investigating.

On March 4, the officials of the Mumbai Division of the Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education, were shocked to see images of the question paper of Book Keeping and Accountancy being circulated on WhatsApp much before the examination’s scheduled time – 11 am. At 10.40 am, mid-day had received a snapshot of the question paper on WhatsApp. and immediately informed the board about it.

Meanwhile, a student appearing for the examination in a college in Mira Road was caught at 10.20 am with the same image on his phone inside the examination centre. It was after confiscating his mobile phone that the centre head saw images of the question paper received at 10.20 am. A case was then filed with the Kashimira police station while the Mumbai Division of the Board approached the Cyber Cell. It is over a week now and yet there is no conclusion to the investigation by the police.

Board says
Siddheshwar Chandekar, secretary of the Mumbai division of the state board, told mid-day, "Right now what we have learnt from police investigation is that it is not much of a serious issue. They have found all images circulated after 10 am that day and are looking for images circulated before 10 am. Question paper bundles are opened at around this time at exam centres and candidates are inside examination halls by 10.30 am.

Moreover, most of the students on whose phones these images were found are from a limited locality, whereas we have a vast jurisdiction. Considering the current situation there seems to be no need of reexamination of the paper."

Police says
Investigators understood the board examination process by visiting the Mumbai division of state board in order to effectively investigate the matter. Senior Police Inspector of the Kashimira Police Station, Anil Kadam said, "It was important for us to understand how these exams are conducted in order to know how these images can be of serious concern. Until now we have found images received at 10.10 am."

Police have questioned around 6-7 students while following the trail of the WhatsApp images. "It is taking time as children are scared. Their parents approach us and say their children are scared. While the examination is still going on this stress can be dangerous for them. It takes us long to convince a student that by telling us whatever she or he knows they are just helping us. Just receiving those images does not make them a criminal and we have to reach the origin of it," said Kadam.

Navi Mumbai Cyber Crime Cell in-charge, Police Inspector Pratibha Shendge, said, "We are providing help to the Kashimira police station. However, based on the current investigation status, it currently appears to be a circulation in a limited locality and not involving many students."

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