New Delhi: A special team of Delhi Police set up to investigate the leak of Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics question papers cancelled by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) started its probe on Wednesday evening.
According to NDTV report, the Delhi Police special team has started its investigation with 25 people, mostly students who had been able to access the handwritten question papers.
The police are hoping to work backwards to trace the source of the leaked papers that appear to have been circulated over WhatsApp, the encrypted messenger service.
A special investigation team led by RP Upadhyay, the senior police officer who heads the crime branch, has been constituted after registering two cases on complaints from the CBSE, the school board exam body.
"We have received snapshots of the handwritten paper circulated through WhatsApp from the complainant. We are trying to ascertain the source of these messages. Since WhatsApp messages are end-to-end encrypted, we are facing a bit of difficulty in tracing the source," said an officer privy to the probe, according to news agency Press Trust of India.
The officer said they have not questioned any official from any of the examination centres or from the CBSE. The questioning will happen once the source of messages is traced.
The CBSE, which has been fending off complaints that some question papers had been leaked for days, cancelled the two papers on Monday.
The decision came hours after the Class 10 mathematics paper leaked and surfaced on social media also.
Following the CBSE's announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to HRD minister Prakash Javadekar about CBSE paper leaks and demanded strict action against the perpetrators.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Prakash Javadekar said "2-3 papers" had leaked but promised parents and students that the authorities had filed a police complaint right away. The minister underlined that the leaks appeared to be a localised problem limited just to Delhi.
The minister also contended that the papers were leaked just half-an-hour before the examination.
"It seems some kind of gang is behind this and is doing it deliberately. A special team is already probing the matter and the guilty will not be spared," said Javadekar.
Police sources, however, suggest that this might not be the case.
A police officer said his understanding at the moment was that the examination papers appear to have been leaked the evening before the two examinations.
A police statement said the CBSE had registered the first case in connection with the leak of economics paper Tuesday while the case pertaining to mathematics paper was filed Wednesday, following a complaint by the regional director of CBSE.
The cases were registered on charges of criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy.
Reports about the economics paper being leaked had circulated on social media, including on WhatsApp, several hours before the paper commenced on Monday.
The CBSE, however, denied any leak and urged students and parents not to panic.
"We have checked with all exam centres and the paper was not leaked. The source of circulation of this information is not known yet. We want to urge the students and parents to not panic and assure them that the board is doing its best to ensure sanctity of the examination," a senior CBSE official had said.
While the economics exam was held on Monday, the mathematics exam was conducted on Wednesday, hours before the CBSE announced that it will hold the two exams again.
A similar incident occurred on March 15, when the Delhi government had said that it had received complaints of the Class 12 CBSE accountancy paper being leaked. The board had denied that there was a leak....