Amid the ongoing furor over back to back High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) paper leak incidents in the state, the Assam police on Saturday have arrested the main conspirator behind the circulation of a morphed picture of Geography question paper of the HSLC Class 10 examination.
The arrested individual has been identified as one Musum Ali, a resident of Nagaon.
But, the question arises, how did the morphed picture of Geography question paper go so viral? and Musum Ali's role in the alleged conspiracy behind the circulation of the picture!
As per the inspector of schools, Nagaon, an Assistant teacher, at Chakalaghat HS School, namely Shunit Ranjan Hazarika at around 10 am was informed by a girl candidate Dharitri Sarma of HSLC 2023 that she had received a question paper of Geography through WhatsApp.
Shunit Ranjan Hazarika then sent the same question paper to the Inspector of school.
Immediately after, the matter was informed to the Chairman, SEBA, and, as per his direction, the Inspector of school went to the residence of the teacher where he met the girl candidate and another candidate namely Daradi Saikia.
During the enquiry, the said candidates revealed that they received the question paper via WhatsApp from one Musum Ali, a student of Uttaran Academy situated at Kathmil Chariali, Nagaon and appearing the ongoing HSLC examination from Dawson HS and MP school centre.
After contacting Musum Ali over telephone, he informed that he received only the front page of the Geography question and no other pages. He also told the inspector of school that it may be an edited question paper which got viral over social media.
Meanwhile, Ali further revealed that he created another WhatsApp group that consists of 225 members and he viral the same.
Accordingly, the inspector of school sent the copy of viral question paper to the chairman, SEBA and also discussed the matter with the education minister, Assam.
Later, the inspector of school was directed to lodge an FIR against Musum Ali.
Considering the same, a case was registered against Musum Ali at Nagaon Sadar Police station.
Earlier today, Ali had shared the morphed picture on Whatsapp, that later spread like wildfire on social media, just ahead of the exam to be held on March 20.
However, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA) clarified that the latest leak is fake and the paper is from 2021.
It was believed that it was the work of some miscreant with an aim to disrupt the ongoing investigation over the recent paper leak incidents.
Meanwhile, state education minister Ranoj Pegu tweeted two images, the original 2021 question paper of Geography along with the morphed up picture. He also instructed the concerned authority to file an FIR in this regard.
"The Geography Question Paper circulated in social media allegedly of leak is fake. SEBA authority has confirmed that it is fake. Instructed concerned officer to lodge FIR in Police station," he tweeted.
Several persons including teachers and students were detained during the high-level investigation that was initiated by the Crime Investigation Department (CID) after the scam got exposed earlier this month.
Three teachers namely Pranab Dutta, Prasanna Das, and Kumud Rajkhowa (the mastermind of the scam) were placed under suspension by the office of the district inspector of school after they were arrested for their involvement in the paper leak case.
The trio is now under police custody after mastermind Kumud Rajkhowa, a science teacher of Dafalakata Janajati High School located in Nowboicha surrendered himself before the police on Friday.
While Pranab Dutta, was the principal of Luit Kaboli High School in Lakhimpur , Prasanna Das was a teacher of Dafalakata Janajati High School located in Nowboicha.
Earlier yesterday, the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), announced that the examination of all MIL/English (IL) subjects of the ongoing High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) Class 10 examinations will be held on April 1, 2023.
This comes after the exams had to be rescheduled following orders from Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma last night, in light of reports of a possible question paper leak.
The exams were earlier scheduled to be held on March 18. However, during the interrogation, one of the suspects who was arrested for his role in leaking the General Science question paper earlier, confessed to authorities about leaking the Assamese language paper as well.
This prompted Assam CM Sarma to direct SEBA to reschedule the exams. And now, SEBA announced a fresh date for all MIL/ English (IL) subjects to be held on April 1.