The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) searched 50 places in seven states on Tuesday as part of its ongoing investigation into two cases related to the leak of a police constable recruitment test question paper in Himachal Pradesh last year.
On November 30, 2022, the agency filed two FIRs after the state government asked them to take over the investigation of cases being looked into by the state police.
The question paper for the Himachal Pradesh Police constable written test on March 27, 2022, was leaked by middlemen in several states before the test. The incident was found out about on May 5 of last year, and the exam was cancelled the next day. On May 7, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was put together. “The SIT found that Sudhir Yadav, a part-time worker at a printing press in the Akbarpur district of Bihar, had given the question paper to the people accused in the case in March,” an officer said.
A CBI spokesperson said, “During the investigation and review of documents, a well-organized network of middlemen from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, etc. came to light.”
“On Tuesday, searches were done in the districts of Kangra, Una, Mandi, Hamirpur, Kullu, Shimla, and Sirmour in Himachal Pradesh; in Nalanda, Samastipur, Munger, Lakhisarai, Patna, and Navada in Bihar; in Haridwar and Dehradun in Uttarakhand; in Pathankot in Punjab; in Jaunpur, Varanasi, Gazipur, and Lucknow
Earlier, the state police filed three cases in Gaggal (Kangra), Arki (Solan), and at the CID Police Station in Bharari because of the leak (Shimla).
There had been as many as 1,87,476 applications for 1,334 constable jobs. There were 75,803 people who passed the physical test, and 26,346 people who passed the written test.
During its investigation, the SIT arrested about 253 people, including the owner of the printing press, staff, owners of coaching centres, agents, family members of candidates, and candidates themselves. In court, charges were brought against more than 150 people.
According to the state police investigation, the leak was done by more than one gang. Some of the kingpins and agents who leaked the papers were repeat offenders, engineers, and people who worked in the government departments of Railways and Income Tax.