Kolkata printing press, PU chief's computer likely leak centres

Kolkata printing press, PU chief's computer likely leak centres

Students tense about their career

The State Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is zeroing in on some senior officials in the Pre-University Commissioner’s office, supecting them to be behind the leak of the Math and Physics papers, even as sleuths have begun following leads indicating that the leak could have taken place at a Kolkata-based printing press.

What has alarmed investigators is that several senior and mid-level employees in the PU Commissioner’s office were aware that examination papers were being printed at the Kolkata printing press for the past six years.

It is likely that the State CID will seek the cooperation of the Kolkata Police’s Detective Department to probe a possible racket at the printing press in that city.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that many were in the know about the particular printing press, which should otherwise have been confidential information, and it is suspected that the papers were compromised at that end before they reached Bangalore and other parts of Karnataka,” police sources familiar with the investigation revealed to Deccan Herald.

A second line of inquiry the CID is pursuing is based on “strong suspicions” that all the different sets of Maths and Physics question papers were copied on to flash drives at the PU Commissioner’s office and then transmitted to the network of people which subsequently sold them to students at a premium.

After it was discovered Thursday that all three sets of the Physics paper were leaked, CID sleuths began examining several different officials belonging to the PU Commissioner’s office.

Sources said the investigators suspect that while the Kolkata printing press was a prime target for those who are part of the leak network, the CID sleuths are also examining computers where the question papers were composed before they were finally despatched to the printing press.

Besides, the probe involves checking how secure the PU Commissioner office’s computer system is and the employees who have had access to the files as confidential as examination question papers.

In this context, sources said that investigations so far have not revealed any instance of “breaking of the seals” on envelopes, containing the papers, at any of the examination centres.

 “The initial probe suggests that the seals were not tampered with or broken to gain access to the question papers. If this was so, it is suspected that the leak either happened while the question papers were being composed or after they were despatched to the printing press,” senior police sources said.

The police are also trying to ascertain whether the question papers were emailed to other masterminds in the network operating within Karnataka and West Bengal.

Officers of the cyber-crime division of the CID have been roped in to the assist in the probe in which at least five deputy superintendents of police and four inspectors, besides other policemen, are working in tandem with the Central Crime Branch to break the network.

Fax number
Among some of the other leads the CID investigators are probing is a fax number which they stumbled upon on Thursday as they sifted through the unearthed documents and interrogation of some of the suspects. The number led the police to a communications centre in Bommasandra from where the the question papers might have been faxed to the second or third tier of the vast network suspected to have inter-state linkages.