How Thane cops busted army exam paper leak scam

Feb 27, 2017, 08:20 IST | Faisal Tandel and Chaitraly Deshmukh

The 18 people arrested from Nagpur, Pune and Goa include an ex-army man, ex-BSF employee, and four different academies based in Nagpur and Satara

The exam was cancelled after the police conferred with the Army
The exam was cancelled after the police conferred with the Army

On Sunday, aspirants across the country were supposed to write the army recruitment exams. They had, after all, been preparing for it round the clock. Instead, they were in for a rude shock when news filtered in that the Thane crime branch sleuths had conducted raids across Pune, Nagpur and Goa, arresting 18 people and detaining 350 others for their role in leaking the papers. Even more disheartening, despite writing the paper, the exam has been deemed inadmissible.

Read Story: Day before exam, English question paper sold for Rs 800

The police nabbed over 18 people and detained 350 people
The police nabbed over 18 people and detained 350 people

Two officers with the Anti-Narcotic Cell of Thane crime branch — assistant police inspector Ajay Ghosalkar and PSI Vijay Upale — received information on February 24 that the army recruitment exam papers for the posts of soldier (technical and general duty) and clerk for 52 centres were available for candidates to peruse through for three hours, all for a price between Rs 2-5 lakh.

Acted on tip-off
Ashutosh Dhumbre, joint commissioner of police, Thane said, "As per the information, we prepared a team of all crime branch sleuths and raided across Pune, Nagpur and Goa. We had found that interested aspirants could call the agents or involved academies, like Pune-based Raje Chhatrapati Academy or Nagpur-based Tango Charlie, a day before the exam and be given three hours to study the paper. They were even circulated on Whatsapp for a while and yesterday, when we raided, we caught them all red-handed."

Dhumbre said that the decision to invalidate the examination that took place on Sunday was made as Army authorities had confirmed that the leaked paper matched the one that was administered to aspirants in the morning.

Notably, some of the 18 arrested include an ex-army serviceman, ex-BSF employee, four different academies, across the state, and a few agents.

Now, a case has been registered at the Kalwa police station where the accused will be brought in late at night or early Monday morning. "We have registered a case and are further investigating the matter as we suspect that the accused have been leaking the paper in the past too. We are also looking into the number of people cheated," said Parag Manare, deputy commissioner of police, Thane crime branch.

Also Read: Eight Mumbai University staff held for engineering exam paper leak

Pune angle explored
In Pune, unit one officers Suresh Bhosale, Nitin Bhosale and Anjum Bagwan along with 25 others raided the Sankar Hall, where around 79 aspirants had come to write the exam.

Sources in police department said, "Two of the arrested, Shinde and Jadhav, run the Raje Chhatrapati Academy and they had hired the hall and planned to distribute the papers. They have worked as mediators in past also, and we suspect they have leaked the paper previously too."

Aspirants miffed
Speaking to mid-day on condition of anonymity, one of the aspirants said, "This is really shocking and unjust. We were not aware of this and have come from out of town for writing this exam. The paper was good and had questions related to general knowledge, current issues and mathematics were asked. Now, I am worried that the exam will be rescheduled, but I don’t have the money to stay and write it again and so will miss the opportunity to improve my life."

Rs 5 Lakh Amount paid by aspirants to study paper for 3 hours

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