The Himachal Pradesh Police on Tuesday formed an eight-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the Himachal Road Transport Corporation (HRTC) conductor recruitment exam leak case.
Deputy inspector general (crime) Bimal Gupta will head the SIT with Kangra superintendent of police (SP) Vimukt Ranjan, Shimla SP Mohit Chawla, cyber crime SP Sandeep Dhawal, CID SP Sandeep Bhardwaj, Solan additional SP Ashok Kumar, Hamirpur DSP Renu Kumari and Mandi DSP (headquarters) Karan Singh Guleria as its members.
State director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kundu said that the SIT members have been selected from different districts as the investigation has statewide ramifications. “It will ascertain the involvement of any organised gang or group. The SIT shall also probe any irregularities/lapses in holding the exam,” he said.
So far, three people have been arrested in the case. They are Lucky Sharma and Sunny Sharma, both from Rohru in Shimla, and Manoj Kumar from Jawali in Kangra.
ACCUSED SURRENDERS IN KANGRA
Manoj Kumar, 26, one of the accused, surrendered before Kangra police at Shahpur police station on Tuesday.
A resident of Bhali panchayat in Jawali subdivision, Manoj allegedly sneaked a phone into the exam centre at Shahpur. He clicked photos of the question paper and shared them on social media minutes after the exam started on Sunday.
The exam was being conducted by the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission (HPSSC).
The HPSSC secretary filed an online complaint at Shahpur police station, stating that a candidate who appeared for the exam at the Himachal Institute and Technology (HIET) had shared photos of the paper on social media.
Police had been raiding his possible hideouts since Sunday. “Manoj Kumar has been booked under Section 7 of the Malpractices Act,” the Kangra SP said.
The leak was first detected at a Shimla centre where a candidate was caught clicking photos by an invigilator. He had sent the images to his brother on WhatsApp but was yet to get a response. The candidate, Lucky, was arrested from his house in Rohru on Sunday.
Later, investigations showed the question paper circulating on social media was leaked from a Kangra centre. This was detected from the serial number and code on the question paper.
EXAM NOT TO BE CANCELLED: HPSSC
Meanwhile, the HPSSC, in a meeting held on Monday, decided not to cancel the exam. HPSSC chairman Brigadier (retd) Satish Sharma said that of more than 60,000 applicants, 71% had taken the exam.
Cancellation of the exam won’t be in the interest of the candidates, he said, adding that the malpractice was detected at only two centres.