Amaravati: Police in Andhra Pradesh’s Sri Sathya Sai district on Saturday arrested the headmaster of a government school for alleged involvement in leaking a Class 10 examination paper, taking the number of teachers arrested for malpractices to 10.
Vijay Kumar, the headmaster of a high school at Nalla Cheruvu, was arrested for leaking the paper while discharging his duties as chief superintendent Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination at Gandlapenta.
Prima facie, the investigations revealed that the headmaster sent a copy of the English question paper through WhatsApp on Friday. Police were questioning him.
The SSC exams began across the state on Wednesday and for a third consecutive day on Friday, there have been reports of malpractices.
Question papers in Telugu and Hindi were also leaked during the first two days in Kurnool and Chittoor districts.
Police arrested 12 people including nine teachers. A teacher working with a corporate school was also held.
The English paper was leaked eight minutes after the examination began Friday morning. The paper was allegedly posted on a WhatsApp group of a leader of a political party in Obuladevaracheruvu of Sri Sathya Sai district.
As the word spread, the District Education Officer launched a probe.
It was found that Srinivas Rao, a junior assistant working in the MPDO office in Nalla Cheuvu posted the question paper on the WhatsApp group.
After tracing the location of Srinivas Rao’s cell phone, the officials reached Gandlapenta and began search at Gandlapenta zilla parishad high school and surroundings.
They seized the cell phones of Vijay Kumar and water boy Naresh.
The investigations by DEO and police revealed that Vijay Kumar clicked pictures of the exam paper on his mobile phone and sent it to Srinivas Rao.
Police said they had colluded with a private school management to leak the paper.
The question paper leak at Nandikotkur in Nandyal district also created a flutter.
Senior officials of the education department and police started an investigation at a government school.
They questioned the chief examiner and other officials. Since ‘Ashika’ was written on the hand of the person holding the question paper, the officials checked 274 students and questioned a couple of suspects.
The DEO later said the paper was not leaked from the school.
Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana had said on Friday that some people were trying to spread misinformation to malign the government.
He said there was no paper leak in Nandyal district while an investigation was on in the alleged paper leak in Sri Sathya Sai district.
More than six lakh students are appearing in SSC exams at 3,776 exam centres. Following the incidents of the first three days, authorities stepped up vigilance at the exam centres.