Hyderabad: Vivekananda Group of Institutions vice-principal and an associate professor from Narsapur were arrested by the East Zone Task Force along with another person for selling cloned fingerprints of faculty members of various educational institutions and cheating the JNTU officials with forged online biometric attendance to earn money illegally.
According to Hyderabad police commissioner Anjani Kumar, the men collected the original fingerprint impressions of faculty members using glue gun and glue sticks. Officials seized Rs 3 lakh, a biometric machine, 30 glue sticks, 60 cloned prints of 29 faculty members of the BPharmacy stream of the Vivekananda Group and 20 original impressions of the same from their possession.
Acting on a tip-off, the Task Force officials apprehended associate professor Bomma Ramakrishna, 35, from Narsapur, West Godavari, P. Sriram Prasad, 28, an employee from Nizampet and Poreddy Sudharshan Reddy, 35, Vivekananda group vice-principal at Batasingaram of Hayathnagar, from near the Saibaba temple kaman of Champapet, Saidabad.
The prime accused, Vivekananda group secretary Gopal Reddy, is reportedly absconding. Additional DCP, Task Force, Chaitanya Kumar said police was checking on the involvement of other faculty members and students. “They collect fingerprints of graduates and clone them to mark their attendance on the JNTU server. We are also probing if there is any other college involved" said the official.
Ramakrishna is pursuing his PhD and working as associate professor at SCET, West Godavari. Prasad from Krishna district completed his B.Tech in 2013 and worked as an administrative officer in Nova Engineering College, Batasingaram, from 2014 to December 2017.
“Ramakrishna was hired by Nova Engineering College as assistant professor. As per JNTU norms, every engineering college should have one lecturer for 15 students. JNTU and the state government launched the online biometric attendance system which is linked to the JNTU server,” police said.
To overcome the issue of marking biometric attendance Ramakrishna designed a technique of cloning fingerprints from the internet to fudge attendance. In December 2017, Sriram left Nova Engineering College and was in need of money. He contacted Ramakrishna who requested him to prepare cloned fingerprints of the few colleges. He was to consult managements of educational institutions and get orders for cloned fingerprints.
Sriram was to collect original fingerprint impressions of faculty members using glue gun and glue sticks and send them to Ramakrishna who would prepare the cloned fingerprints using ethylene vinyl acetate and other chemicals.
Ramakrishna would return the cloned fingerprints for which they both charge Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per fingerprint.
Mr Chaitanya Kumar said Vivekananda group's Sudershan Reddy and Gopal Reddy came to know about cloned fingerprints and contacted Sriram to cloning prints of 28 faculty members of B Pharmacy course.
When Sudershan Reddy placed a fresh order for cloned fingerprints of five faculty members. When Ramakrishna came to return the cloned, they were arrested.
The arrested men and the seized material were handed over to the local police.
The police is in touch with JNTU regarding the attendance fudging by the accused.
How to clone
- They make a cloned fingerprint impression using Ethylene Vinyl Acetate and other chemicals.
- Then a wax like substance is used to imprint the print onto it, making it a clone of the same.
- The cloned fingerprint is placed on a biometric scanner to mark the attendance.
- They were charging Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per fingerprint.