Assam paper leak: Himanta hints at ‘political reason’ as CID probe continues

Guwahati, 19 Mar: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday hinted at possible “political reasons” behind the class 10 state board exam question paper leaks even as police claimed to have “almost cracked” completely the case.
In another matter of an alleged leak of the Geography question paper, two more students are facing questioning after the arrest of one on Saturday, police said.
Two instances of question paper leak of General Science and Assamese (which is one of the Modern Indian Language subjects) of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, (SEBA) exam for class 10 had come to light last week.
The General Science exam, which was supposed to be held on March 13, will now be held on March 30, while MIL and English exams, slated for March 18, will now be held on April 1.
The purported first page of the Geography paper, which is scheduled for Monday, was circulated on social media on Saturday, but the SEBA quickly dismissed claims of any fresh question paper leak and said it was an edited version of an earlier year’s paper.
The CID, which is investigating the question paper leak case, has so far arrested 32 people, including several students, Assam Police spokesperson Prasanta Kumar Bhuyan said on Sunday.
“The investigation is on. The case has been almost cracked completely,” he claimed.
Among those arrested are two teachers, Pranab Dutta and Kumud Rajkhowa, who have been named as the masterminds by state Director General of Police G P Singh.
Another teacher, Prasanna Das, was also arrested with the duo from Lakhimpur. He was an active Congress member and held different positions at the local level of the party before joining service.
With Das’s purported connection with the Congress coming to the fore, the CM has pointed to possible “political reasons” behind the paper leaks.
“It is now known that one of the accused is a former Congress office-bearer. We have to now see whether he did it (leaking the papers) for monetary benefits or political reasons were also there,” Sarma told reporters in the national capital.
In the alleged Geography paper leak case, two students of Sivsagar district were taken by Nagaon police, which is probing the matter, for questioning on Sunday, Sivsagar Superintendent of Police Subhrajyoti Bora told PTI.
He said they had received a request from their Nagaon counterparts for calling seven students for questioning, who were all ‘admins’ of a WhatsApp group through which the purported first page of the Geography question paper was circulated on Saturday.
Two students stayed overnight at the children’s room in the police station, while the rest returned home and were called for further questioning on Sunday, he said.
“The two students who had stayed back were later taken by the Nagaon police team, which had questioned the rest also here today,” the SP said without clarifying whether they have been arrested or not.
Nagaon police, which is investigating the case of the basis of a complaint lodged by the district’s Inspector of Schools, had arrested a matric examinee from Nagaon on Saturday. (PTI)