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Forced Into Action, Cops Finally Nab 6 in Gujarat Paper Leak Scam

| Updated: December 17, 2021 8:49 pm

Finally, the Gujarat Police have arrested half a dozen people from 10 persons named in an FIR in the alleged leak of the question paper of the December 12 exams for government head clerks. 

This is the 9th paper leak of a State Government exam in 7 years held by the Gujarat Subordinate Services Selection Board (GSSSB).

Not satisfied by the action, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which exposed the leak and forced the police action, has demanded the sacking of GSSSB chairman Asit Vora, who is a BJP leader and former mayor of Ahmedabad.

Gujarat Congress president Jagdish Thakor and other leaders also demanded the sacking of Vora and a State-wide probe in all the exams conducted earlier.

“This is not the first time, papers have been leaked in every recruitment test conducted by the State agencies since 2015,” the Congress leader pointed out. Thakor said earlier exams were cancelled after the papers leaked.

Immediately after the exam began, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had alleged that the question paper was leaked prior to the exam, and the question and answer sheets were exchanged through WhatsApp. As many as 88,000 candidates sat for the exam to fill 186 posts.

An FIR has been finally lodged by the police after the State government initially dismissed allegations of the paper’s leak from a centre in north Gujarat.

“Of the 10 accused named in the FIR registered at Prantij police station of Sabarkantha district, six have been arrested,” Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told mediapersons in Gandhinagar on Friday.

He added 24 teams were looking into the paper leak. Explaining the modus operandi of the racket that his government had outrightly denied, Sanghavi conceded that, “The accused persons leaked the paper, solved it and then gave it to the candidates in a well-oil conspiracy.”

Asked about cancelling the exams, he said no decision had been taken as yet on this.  The six accused have been identified as Dhruv Barot, Mahesh Patel, Chintan Patel, Kuldip Patel, Darshan Vyas and Suresh Patel, all residents of Sabarkantha district.

Police sources said after getting the paper the accused persons sold it to the candidates anywhere from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh, and also helped them in solving the paper at various locations a day before the exam.

One Jayesh Patel had managed to get the question paper and gave it to those linked to him. Some 16 candidates, including Dhruv Barot, received the question paper from the accused a day before the exam.

The FIR said these 16 candidates were divided into three different groups and taken to three different locations near Prantij on December 11 to solve the question paper. On the day of the exam, the accused persons arranged transportation to drop these candidates to their respective exam centres.

The accused persons have been booked under IPC Sections 420 (cheating), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).

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