Government need to set up high-security printing press to prevent paper leak: Himachal DGP

Shimla, June 27

Himachal Pradesh police chief on Monday said that the country needs to set up a high-security government press to prevent leaking of question papers printed for recruitment of employees in the government departments.

Director General of Police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu told media at the state Police headquarters here that he had recommended the central intelligence and security agencies about the need for setting up a high-security printing press on the lines of one that prints currency notes, for printing of recruitment papers.

On May 6, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had cancelled the written test conducted to recruit police constables amid reports of a paper leak.

The exam was held on March 27 and 75,803 candidates had appeared for the written test to recruit 1,334 constables. Of these, 60,454 were men and 14,653 women.

Another 696 men had qualified for the written test for the post of constable drivers.

Kundu said that the state Police has so far arrested 171 people from 10 states, including West Bengal, Bihar, Haryana, Delhi, and Rajasthan for their involvement in the leaking of Himachal Pradesh Police constable recruitment exam papers.

During investigation, the state Police has come to know that the interstate gangs involved in the paper leak were also responsible for leaking of papers for various other recruitment exams held in other states, including Rajasthan and Jammu amp; Kashmir, he said.

Kundu said that those arrested so far include 25 people who are associated with various interstate gangs from other states, and one Rajeev Yadav, a section engineer in the Railways.

The 171 arrested also include 116 candidates, fathers of nine of them, and 21 agents from Himachal Pradesh, he said.

At present, one accused is in police custody, 47 are in judicial custody, 121 have been released under section 41 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code, and two have been granted bail by the Court, he added.

The process of preparing a chargesheet against the accused is in the final stage and it will be placed in the court soon, Kundu, said adding that whenever other accused are arrested, a supplementary challan will be placed accordingly.

The General Duty (Male amp; Female) and Drivers exam to recruit constables will be held afresh on July 3 from 12 pm to 1 pm throughout the state, barring the 116 candidates booked for cheating , who have been disqualified as per rules, the DGP added.

Regarding their modus operandi, the DGP said that some employees of printing presses were the members of the paper-leak gangs.

Soon after getting the papers, these employees would contact their associates in other states, who would buy the names and other details of the candidates from coaching centres, he said.

They would then contact the candidates to sell them papers using their network spread across states, he said.

The DGP was accompanied by Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police Madhu Sudan, who is heading the five-member Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to investigate the case, as he addressed the media.

DIG Madhu Sudan said that efforts were on to nab about 10 other people identified as accused in the case. The number may go up as the investigation progresses, he said.

Asked about complicity of police in the leaks, Sudan said though there has so far been found no such instance, the possibility cannot be ruled out as the investigation is still on.

The CM had on May 17 decided to hand over the case to CBI, but the probe agency is yet to take over the investigation.

After the incident in May, three FIRs were registered under sections 420 (cheating) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code at Kangra district's Gaggal Police Station, at State CID Police Station at Bharari in Shimla, and at Arki Police Station in Solan.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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