The Uttar Pradesh police arrested 21 people including students, ‘solvers’ and gang leaders for allegedly using unfair means during the Lekhpal recruitment exam Sunday, with officials saying these were “individual cases of impersonation” while the Samajwadi Party alleged a paper “leak”.
The Lekhpal recruitment mains examination was conducted Sunday at 501 centres in 12 districts of the state in which nearly 2.50 lakh candidates appeared, Uttar Pradesh Subordinate Services Selection Commission Chairman Praveer Kumar said.
Praveer Kumar said the centres for the single-shift examination were in Ayodhya, Aligarh, Agra, Bareilly, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Prayagraj, Moradabad, Jhansi, Kanpur, Lucknow and Varanasi.
He rejected allegations, including by Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, that the papers were leaked. But action was taken by the Special Task Force of the state police against those who indulged in malpractices.
“Twenty-one persons hailing from different districts of the state including gang leaders and candidates were arrested on Sunday in connection with the use of unfair means, and deploying solvers, and for taking a handsome amount from candidates,” the Uttar Pradesh STF said in a statement issued here.
It said the first arrests were made form Prayagraj where Narendra Kumar Patel and Sandeep Patel — the latter was allegedly found solving the paper sitting in a car — were caught following a tip-off and interrogated.
Their information led to further arrests from Kanpur, Lucknow, Moradabad, Varansi, Gonda, and Bareilly.
Three more arrests were made from Prayagraj including Vijay Kant Patel, the main accused, and his two aides Dinesh Kumar Yadav and Sonu Kumar, the STF official said.
Vijay Kant Patel, the STF official said, had taken Rs 10 lakh each from seven candidates, and gave them bluetooth devices and earbuds for facilitating cheating during the exam.
It said based on the information provided by him, separate STF teams arrested two candidates — Pushpendra (Varanasi) and Jaisingh Patel (Kanpur).
Sandeep Patel along with his aides Dinesh Kumar Yadav and Sonu Kumar were solving the paper in their car in Prayagraj, the STF said.
It said it has recovered 15 bluetooth earbuds, six subscriber identity module (SIM) cards, six earbud shells, nine bluetooth devices card, 10 mobile phones, a PAN (Permanent Account Number)card, a driving licence and Rs 620 in cash were recovered from them.
The STF also said Vijay Kant Patel earlier worked as a teacher in a college run by education and copying mafia DK Patel, from where he came in touch with Sandeep Patel and Sonu Kumar.
An STF headquarters team under Deputy SP Lal Pratap Singh arrested two more persons from Prayagraj — Dinesh Kumar Sahu and Karan Kumar — and Dilip Gupta in Varanasi.
Another headquarters team (under STF officer Pramesh Kumar Shukla) arrested two dummy candidates from Lucknow — Raju Kumar, who was allegedly impersonating Roopesh Kumar and Sanjay Kumar Yadav, a resident of Patna, who was allegedly impersonating Amit Yadav.
In Varanasi, meanwhile, a field unit of the STF arrested Raj Narayan Yadav, who was allegedly appearing in place of candidate Krishna Yadav.
The Meerut field unit made three arrests in Moradabad — candidate Sandeep Kumar, his solver Mohit Singh, and another dummy candidate Ravindra Kumar.
Neeraj, a resident of Sonipat, has been arrested for allegedly arranging solvers.
The arrests made by the Bareilly field unit of the STF include Rajiv Kumar who was appearing in place of Rinku. The unit also arrested Saleem Warsi from Gonda in connection with the case, the STF said.
Akhilesh Yadav said, “Now, the Lekhpal recruitment exam paper has been leaked. The allegations of candidates seem true now that all this is a trick (‘chaal’) by the BJP government to not complete any example so that people do not get jobs. And the youth works as labourers and peons with the capitalists.” Refuting the claims of question paper leak, UPSSSC chairman Praveer Kumar said, “There is nothing as question paper leak, as a question paper leak takes place before the examination. These are individual cases of impersonation.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)