A top official was on Wednesday arrested in connection with a Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) paper leak. Hours later, the state government cancelled the examination for which the paper was set. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said all four phases of the examination for the posts of panchayat secretary, revenue workers, clerks and assistant posts had been cancelled. First two phases of preliminary test were held on January 19 and February 5. Two more phases were due on February 19 and February 26. “Based on a report of Chief Secretary Anjani Kumar Singh and DGP P K Thakur, we have decided to cancel the examination and hold it afresh,” said Nitish.
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The announcement came hours after Patna Zone Inspector General of Police N H Khan said that BSSC Secretary Parmeshwar Ram had been arrested along with Data Entry Operator Avinash Kumar and sent to judicial custody. He added that they have some evidence regarding their role in the leak. “We will try to take them on police remand for further questioning,’’ said Khan.
Earlier, a Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the case, searched Ram’s residence and questioned him and five BSSC staffers. “We found some important documents and property papers after a search at his (Ram’s) home,’’ Patna SSP Manu Maharaj said.
Ram, who had earlier said that he did not know how to use WhatsApp, reportedly told police that he had received a question set after February 5. The SIT separately said it had arrested one Abhishek from Muzaffarpur.
A candidate told The Indian Express that they were tempted and struck a deal for Rs 6 lakh per candidate after learning about a paper setter’s promise to leak question sets and provide answers too.
“We were asked to pay initial installment of Rs 10,000 each. We were given the first question set on February 4, second at 7.30 am on February 5 and third at 9.30 am,’’ said the candidate, who took the examination in Kishanganj. “We were told that one of the three sets would match exactly. We memorised answers of all three sets.’’ He said that the third set matched exactly. “As we had to enter the examination hall by 10 am, we had very little time to memorise its answers. The setter could provide answers for 127 questions,’’ he said.
He recounted that candidates were paying any amount starting from Rs 1,000 to Rs 50 in final moments after the questions and answers started going viral on February 5. He added that some, who could not memorize all answers, used mini microphones connected with their mobile phones for answers. About 17.5 lakh students had appeared for the test.