There seems to be no end to the leaking of question papers in Telangana.
A day after the SSC Board examinations’ Telugu language question paper was allegedly leaked, authorities initiated a probe into a fresh charge of malpractice on Tuesday, 4 April.
It has been alleged that the question paper of the Hindi examination was leaked within 30 minutes of the commencement of the test.
The Telugu question paper was reportedly leaked from the Government High School Number 1 at Tandur in Vikarabad on Monday, 3 April.
“After we got information from the media and the district education department, we formed six teams to verify the allegation. We are investigating all angles,” ACP (Kazipet) P Srinivas, who is leading the probe in Warangal, told South First.
Warangal District Collector P Pravinya told reporters that the authorities are investigating the code on a leaked question paper.
The 10-day SSC Board exams commenced on Tuesday and will continue till 13 April.
Hindi SSC question paper leaked
The second-language question paper (Hindi), scheduled from 9.30 am to 12.30 pm on 4 April, went viral on social media in the Warangal district.
The question paper started circulating by 10.05 am. According to reports, Pravinya — who recently took charge as the collector — alerted District Education Officer (DEO) D Vasanthi.
Mandal Education Officers (MEOs) and Deputy Educational Officers (DEOs) were asked to look into the matter.
Incidentally, the SSC controversy comes even as a special investigation team is probing the Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper leak case, in which 15 people have been arrested.
Warangal administration in action
Pravinya said that the Hindi question paper started circulating on WhatsApp from the Kamalapur village in the Hanumakonda district.
DEO Vasanthi said she was not aware of the question paper leak.
She added there was no code or any hall ticket number on the paper.
South First tried to contact the Warangal collector and DEO multiple times, but the calls went unanswered.
4 Tandur officials suspended
In Vikarabad’s Telugu ‘paper leak’ incident, Biology teacher S Bandeppa, who was on invigilation duty, allegedly took a photo of the question paper and shared it on a WhatsApp group.
However, the authorities later denied the paper leak, saying the students were already inside the examination hall and were unaware of the content of the paper.
District Collector C Narayana Reddy suspended four people, including two invigilators, in connection with the incident.
The police registered a case against the teacher under IPC Section 409 (criminal breach of trust by a public servant) and relevant sections of the Telangana Public Examinations Act.
Meanwhile, Telangana School Education Department Director A Sridevasena said in a statement on Monday that the district collector and the superintendent of police had probed the matter.
She added that invigilator Bandeppa had taken a photograph of the question paper after the commencement of the exam and sent it to the WhatsApp number of another teacher, Sammappa, around 9:37 am.
After the exam started at 9:30 am, no one was allowed in or out of the exam centre.
“After inquiry, it has been concluded by the district collector that the sanctity and integrity of the conduct of exam have not been compromised and that it is an individual instance of malpractice by the invigilator, S Bandeppa,” she added.
Answer papers go missing
Meanwhile, reports said nine answer sheets of the Telugu paper had gone missing on Monday in the Utnoor town of the Adilabad district.
The police registered a case and launched a probe after the Education Department lodged a complaint.
The answer sheets of the Telugu paper went missing when they were being transported from the post office to the bus stand in an autorickshaw, the reports said.
One of the 11 bundles of answer sheets was missing. The additional collector launched an investigation.
The police informed him that CCTV cameras on the route from the post office to the bus stand were not functioning. Footage from CCTV cameras installed in shops was scanned.
TPCC calls for sacking of government
Meanwhile, TPCC president A Revanth Reddy on Tuesday came down heavily on the state government for its inability to conduct examinations.
In a statement issued in Hyderabad, he denounced the arrest of the NSUI activists who were protesting against the leak of SSC question papers and demanded their immediate release.
The Congress leader hit out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao for indulging in politics of destruction.
The leak of SSC papers showed how negligent the government was in conducting the examinations, he said, adding that it was nothing but playing with the lives of innocent children.
He said it was very unbecoming of the government to arrest the youth Congress and NSUI leaders who were fighting on behalf of the students, instead of setting its house in order.
He expressed surprise over the government’s callousness especially since the SSC question papers were leaked close on the heels of the theft of the TSPSC question papers.
He said that KCR was playing dangerously with the future of the students and therefore he had no right to continue in office even for one second.
“What is required is not cancelling the examinations, but the sacking of KCR’s government,” he said.
Questions over KCR’s money
Meanwhile, former PCC president Ponnala Lakshamaih asked how KCR got so much money that he could fund the election expenses of all the parties in the country.
Referring to the statement of prominent journalist Rajdeep Sardesai, the Congress leader wondered how KCR could amass so much money at a time when he was nobody before 2014.
“We all know the details of assets declared by KCR in his election affidavit,” he said.
(With inputs from Raj Rayasam)