Hyderabad, May 10 (). The Telangana State Public Service Commission (TSPSC) question paper leak case is turning out to be more complicated than previously thought. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police found that its wires are connected far and wide.
The SIT has arrested six more people. A total of 27 arrests have been made in the case so far.
The team nabbed two touts and four candidates who appeared in the Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) and Assistant Engineer (AE) exams.
The candidates had allegedly procured question papers of AEE and AE exams for Rs 10 lakh each from prime accused Praveen Kumar through two middlemen.
He had made an advance payment of Rs one lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh and promised to pay the remaining amount after the declaration of the exam results.
The SIT has arrested Aadi Saibab and Mudavat Sivakumar of Nagarkurnool, Ramavat Mahesh of Nagarjuna Sagar and Ponnam Varun of Khammam district.
The search is on for three other candidates who bought the question papers.
Muralidhar Reddy of Hyderabad and Manoj Kumar of Warangal were also arrested who were selling question papers of AE and AEE on behalf of Praveen Kumar.
The fresh arrests were made after the SIT scrutinized Praveen’s social media accounts. Investigators came to know about the leak of AEE question paper after studying his social media accounts.
The candidates were identified by the SIT after evaluating answer sheets of exams already canceled by TSPSC officials on suspicion of paper leak. The officials focused on the candidates who scored unusually high marks.
During the last two months, the SIT found that the question papers of Assistant Engineer (Civil), Divisional Accounts Officer (DAO) and Group-1 Prelims were leaked.
Last week, the SIT had arrested Bhagwant and his brother Ravi Kumar, who work in the office of the Vikarabad Mandal Parishad Development Officer (MPDO).
The officials, during investigation, found that Bhagwant had procured the question paper of Assistant Engineer (AE) exam from one of the accused Dhakya Nayak for his brother Ravi Kumar.
Dhakya’s wife Renuka, a teacher, had received the question papers from prime accused Praveen Kumar, an employee of TSPSC.
He had bought the question paper for his brother Rajeshwar Nayak, who appeared in the AE exam. He along with Dhakya had sold question papers to others.
The TSPSC scam came to light on March 13 following a complaint by a youth. Police initially arrested nine accused including Praveen Kumar, who worked as an assistant section officer in TSPSC, and Rajasekhara Reddy, network administrator in TSPSC. They had allegedly stolen question papers of some examinations from a computer in a secret section of the commission and sold them to other accused.
Subsequently, the SIT arrested 15 accused from Mahbubnagar district alone. Investigators later found that the case had links to Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Nagarkurnool, Khammam and Nalgonda districts as well.
The exam paper leak case created a sensation in Telangana as opposition parties Congress and BJP blamed the BRS government for the leak affecting lakhs of unemployed in the state. The opposition is also demanding a probe by a sitting High Court judge or by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The SIT summoned TSPS President Janardhan Reddy, Secretary Anita Ramachandran and member B.K. Linga Reddy has also been questioned.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) is also probing allegations of money laundering in the case.
The SIT has reportedly detected financial transactions of Rs 33.4 lakh in the case.