2 key accused held for UPTET exam paper leak

LUCKNOW : Uttar Pradesh ADG(Law and Order) Prasant Kumar and UP Principal Secretary Deepak Kumar address a press conference on cancellation of the UPTET Exam 2021 at Lok Bhawan in Lucknow on Sunday November 28,2021.

Lucknow, (Asian independent)┬áThe Uttar Pradesh (UP) Police Special Task Force (STF) has arrested the Director of a Delhi-based printing press from Noida and another key accused from Baghpat district, for their alleged involvement in the question paper leak of the UP Teachers’ Eligibility Test 2021 (UPTET-2021).

In a statement issued late Tuesday evening, the UP STF said the accused, Rai Anoop Prasad, Director of RSM Finserv Ltd, Badarpur, New Delhi, was arrested on Tuesday evening.

He was first called to the STF office in Noida on Monday for questioning and was arrested on Tuesday after it was found that he did not maintain secrecy while printing the question paper.

During questioning, Prasad revealed that the Secretary of the exam regulatory authority issued a work order to his printing firm on October 26 for the UPTET-2021 question papers.

He was found to have violated the secrecy protocol while printing the papers following which they got leaked and the exam cancelled, said a senior STF officer.

The police official said Prasad was booked under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and sent to jail after being produced before a court.

Earlier, the STF arrested another key accused from Badaut area of Baghpat district.

The accused, Rahul Chowdhury (30) of Chajjarpur village in Baghpat, was arrested from his shoe shop near Vedic Degree College in Baghpat. One set of question papers for the second shift of UPTET-2021 and admit cards of some examinees were recovered from his possession.

The press release said that Rahul along with one Feroz, a resident of Baghpat’s Kirthal, and Balram Rathi of Shahpur, Muzaffarnagar, operated the racket out of the shoe shop.

During interrogation, Rahul revealed that he arranged the UPTET question paper from a man named Ravi, of Kandhla in Shamli district, on Saturday evening. He allegedly sold these papers to several people for a sum of Rs 50,000 per candidate, said STF officers.

An official said Rahul told them that there was also a plan to compromise the ongoing online examinations for recruitment of sub-inspectors to UP police.

For that the accused had allegedly set up a computer lab to hack the online examination portal, but they could not do so due to the alertness of NCEIT, the agency to which the conduct of the online exam has been outsourced.

UPTET is a state-level exam conducted once a year to enable candidates to gain eligibility to teach primary classes (1 to 5) and upper primary classes (6 to 8) in government schools.

The government had to cancel UPTET-2021 scheduled for November 28 after the leak was brought to fore with the arrest of 29 people from five districts of Uttar Pradesh and the recovery of question papers from some of them on November 27 evening, just hours ahead of Sunday’s exam.

Eighteen people were arrested from Prayagraj, four from Lucknow, three each from Shamli and Ayodhya, while one person was arrested from Kaushambi district in connection with the paper leak, the police said.