A racket of alleged tampering of engineering course answer sheets to increase the scores of students in Mumbai University has been unearthed and eight persons have been arrested in this regard, police said.
The eight persons, including guard of the store room where the answer sheets were kept, who is said to be the kingpin of the racket, were arrested by the police on May 20, they said.
According to police, employees of Mumbai University sneaked the answer sheets out of the store room located on the varsity’s Kalina campus in Santacruz.
The answer sheets were allegedly handed over to the students through agents. The same were put back in the store room after answers were allegedly written on them by the students at home, police said.
Bhandup police received a tip-off about the racket and traced one Manoj Shendge (22), who was acting as an agent for his friend who was an examiner, they said.
Shendge, who is a student of Commerce, was nabbed on Friday morning when he reached Bhandup railway station to take the answer sheet of his friend which was to be handed over to a university peon to be kept back in the store room.
Police said that Shendge, who was being questioned, admitted that a university peon, identified as Mithun More, had allegedly helped him in acquiring the answer sheets following which the latter was arrested.
During Mores questioning, the police zeroed in on the kingpin of the racket — Prabhakar Vaze (50) — the guard of the examination papers housed in the varsity store room, police said, adding that he was also arrested.
Besides, three university clerks, identified as Sandeep Jadhav, Rohan More, Siddhesh Jadhav, and three peons – Chiman Solanki, Sanjay Kumbhar, Dinkar Mhatre – were also arrested, police said.
As many as 92 answer sheets of Applied Mathematics, the examination of which was conducted on May 11, were recovered from the arrested persons. Besides, Rs. 1.18 lakh were also seized from them out of which Rs. 45,000 were recovered from Vaze alone, police further said.
The police also said that all the answer sheets were planned to be kept back in the store room on May 20, as they were to be scanned for evaluation on May 21.
Most of the seized answer sheets were from exam centres of Kamothe, Kharghar, Airoli and Karjat localities, they said.
The arrested persons have been booked under relevant sections of the IPC and section 8 (abetment of copying) of the Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University, Board and Other Specified Examinations Act, 1982, they said.
The answer sheets would be sent to forensic laboratory to ascertain if the answers written on them were tampered, the police added.