India police arrest 1,000 over police exam cheating scandal

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NEW DELHI: Police in eastern India have arrested around 1,000 aspiring constables for using “middlemen” to sit their exams for them, in the latest cheating scandal to hit Bihar state, an official said Monday.

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Some 50,000 candidates sat the written exams last October for a highly-sought after place in the police force in underdeveloped Bihar, senior superintendent Jitender Rana said by phone from state capital Patna.

But many of those candidates who sat the tough exam were not the same ones who turned up for the next stage of the selection process, Rana told AFP.

“The fraud was detected when the signatures, photographs and fingerprints of the candidates were matched with those who had appeared for the exam,” Rana said.

“We don’t have the exact figures but approximately 1,000 people have been arrested so far over the last few days. These cases are of impersonation and providing false and forged documents.”

While most of those arrested had hired doubles for the exam, others were fingered for submitting documents which turned out to be forged.

The Mail Today tabloid said some candidates had admitted paying nearly 150,000 rupees ($2,395) to so-called middlemen to enable them to clear the exam.

Earlier this month, police in the same state detained more than 1,000 people over another cheating scandal that saw relatives scale the walls of a school exam centre to help students.

TV channels and photographs showed dozens of people clinging to the windows of a four-storey building to pass cheat sheets to candidates.

The images went viral on Twitter and made national headlines, stirring Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his government into action.

Cheating often occurs in India although rarely on such a scale. But in 2013, more than 1,600 students were disqualified in Bihar after similar cheating videos emerged.

AFP

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