II PU Maths paper leaked; exam off

Two from Chintamani booked for cheating, but big fish still at large

Tuesday’s II PUC mathematics examination has been postponed to April 3 after its question paper was found leaked.

The Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) had earlier denied rumours of a question paper leak. Later, it  found the report true.

More shockingly, the leaked paper tallied fully with the original, with even the serial numbers of questions matching. The incident sent lakhs of well-meaning students into a tizzy, spoiling their months of hard work.

Two persons – Pradeep and Venkatesh from Chintamani in Chikballapur district – have been arrested in connection with the leak. Chikballapur Superintendent of Police T D Pawar said the suspects were allegedly selling the question papers.

“They received the papers in Bangalore. We are yet to arrest the big fish,” Pawar told Deccan Herald. The Chintamani town police have booked a case of cheating and leaking of question papers under Section 420 of the IPC and Section 115 of the Karnataka Education Act, 1983.

Primary and Secondary Education Minister Vishweshwara Hegde Kageri has said the Criminal Investigation Department will take up the investigation. He called the incident “unfortunate.”
Reports of the paper leak first appeared on Monday evening after a few TV channels claimed that handwritten question papers were being sold in the Malur and Mulbagal towns of Kolar district and at Chintamani. The DPUE first received complaints from anxious parents around 4:30 pm on Monday.

It then sought help from the police who, after an initial inquiry, rejected the rumours. The matter was almost buried  till unceasing queries forced the DPUE to inquire into the matter. The Malur block education officer then submitted a copy of the leaked paper to the DPUE, which cross-checked it and found it genuine.

An official said the DPUE received complaints of paper leak on the eve of every exam. “The­se turn out to be rumours. Hen­ce, we did not bother initially. But when we tallied the leaked paper with the original one, we were shocked. The leak was 100 per cent,” the official told Deccan Herald. The DPUE then directed its deputy directors in all districts to inform college principals about the postponement.

The leak left both parents and students furious. “We had three whole days to prepare for this exam and just one and a half days more for the physics paper. How I wish we had all these days to prepare well for physics instead,” said Anju Balakrishna of Deeksha College.

The experience was bitter for the parents. Some of them had to take a day off from work to sort things out for their children who lost their cool after they heard about the exam being rescheduled.

One of the parents, Chandrashekhar S, said his daughter was depressed. “This is annoying. Because of a few mischievous students, the ones who worked hard suffer,” he said.

Testing times

* Question paper sold in Malur and Mulbagal towns of Kolar district, and Chintamani taluk of Chikballapur district on Monday.
* DPUE initially found the reports untrue after verifying with the police. Further complaints however, forced the DPUE to investigate the matter again.
* It then procured a copy of the leaked paper and tallied it with the original. It was a 100 per cent leak.
*  The DPUE announced the exam’s postponement on Tuesday morning.
* Two persons were arrested in Chintamani on Tuesday, but the big fish is still at large

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