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Bihar printers scam: Storekeeper ‘siphoned’ Rs 8.5 crore, probe on

The printer scam took place during the tenure of then state board chief Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, now prime accused in the scams and currently lodged in jail with 25 other accused.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna |
August 13, 2016 1:12:56 am

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Bihar toppers and affiliate scams has now unearthed a printers scam, worth more than Rs 8.5 crore, that took place during the tenure of then state board chief Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh, now prime accused in the scams and currently lodged in jail with 25 other accused.

Patna SSP Manu Mahraj, who heads the SIT, told The Indian Express: “Printers scam is the latest offshoot of the toppers and affiliation scam. Though it took place during the tenure of Lalkeshwar Prasad, BSEB storekeeper Vikas Kumar, arrested from Kolkata recently, is the main accused in the scam.”

While the BSEB officially awarded the contract for answer sheets to a Mathura firm, Vikas forged papers to show it was awarded to a Gujarat company, which was among bidders, Vikas Kumar told the SIT. The storekeeper later got the answer sheets from the Gujarat company, which was never paid the Rs 8.5 crore. This amount was allegedly siphoned off by Vikas, who is close to then state board secretary Hariharnath Jha, an accused in the toppers scam who is now in jail.The Gujarat company has lodged a case of cheating and forgery against Vikas.

Vikas allegedly provided blank answer sheets to some students, who wanted to write answers at their homes after the exam. The fake answer sheets bearing the same codes were reportedly replaced to favour students who had given Rs 5 lakh as minimum payment. Vikas allegedly sold unused answer sheets to scrap dealers. Patna SP (Central) Chandan Kushwaha said: “We have quizzed some Patna scrap dealers and may get clues about where the unused answersheets were sold.”

Vikas reportedly bought a house in Kolkata and a car recently. He had allegedly created an email ID in the name of Rajkumar, using which he informed the owner of the Gujarat firm about the tender. “The Gujarat company, which delivered answer sheets in Patna, was later told that the tender was actually awarded to a Mathura company. It was mainly Vikas who was behind the tender fraud in connivance with board officials,” said the SSP.

The state board has not yet come out with its inspection report on schools and inter colleges, which had been given affiliation during the tenure of Lalkeshwar. “Schools of scandal”, a series by The Indian Express, had recently exposed how some schools had been granted affiliation without having basic infrastructure.

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