Sunday, May 7, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

34 Delhi students in soup
From Jangveer Singh
Tribune News Service

RAJPURA, May 6 — Thirtyfour Class XII students from well-to-do families of Delhi were caught answering questions of the National Open School economics paper at Mahavir Mandir Dharamshala here in the wee hours today. The paper was held yesterday and they were supposed to have answered all questions to the best of their ability at the Blossoms School centre in Patiala.

The students did appear for the paper at Patiala, but preferred to just write down their roll numbers and fill the first page of the answersheet. Subsequent pages were filled in the night after Examination Superintendent Madhu Pathak got them their sheets at the dharamshala. The filled sheets were to reach Patiala today to be posted to Delhi.

However, luck deserted this batch which could not be successful in the “easy exercise” which has been on for several years. The police on a tip-off arrested all 34 students, including 15 girls, their two private tutors and the Patiala school teacher who acted as a liaison.

Explaining the modus operandi, police sources said the teenagers were all students of S.M. Educational Centre at Faridabad. The centre head, Mr Suresh Kumar, was in league with a teacher of a government senior secondary school, Mr Shailendra Jha. The duo would get the forms of students studying with them filled and manage to get Blossoms School at Patiala as the examination centre for the students where Mrs Madhu Pathak was a teacher as well as the superintendent.

Superintendent of Police Rajeev Ahir said Mrs Pathak would carry the answersheets in her possession to Rajpura where the students would write the answers with the help of guides and books. The answersheets were then taken back to Patiala the following morning and sent to Delhi.

He said the National Open School papers had been on since April 24. He said the students would invariably stay at Mahavir Mandir Dharamshala in Rajpura where they would arrive a day before the paper.

District police chief Harpreet Singh Sidhu said a case under Sections 406, 420, 465, 468, 167, 114 and 120-B, IPC, had been registered. He said the students, Mr Suresh Kumar, Mr Shailendra Jha and Mrs Madhu Pathak had been arrested and the police would seek their remand from court.

He said the police was also likely to go to Delhi to get to the bottom of the case.

What is surprising is that a majority of the students belong to good families. Many of the girls arrested speak in fluent English.

Meanwhile, Mrs Madhu Pathak and the 15 girls were bailed out by the Duty Magistrate this evening. The other two accused and the boys would be taken to Patiala Central Jail tomorrow.Back

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