Preliminary investigation into the TNPSC Group II examination question paper leak has revealed that a scanned copy of a handwritten manuscript containing key questions was circulated to the candidates through e-mail. It is suspected that the e-mail originated from Chennai, where the TNPSC headquarters is situated. However, the source of the leak is being examined.
Initially, 26-year old candidate Dhanakodi, who was found in possession of a ‘sample’ paper, which contained nearly 40 questions that matched with the original questions, was detained and questioned at the Erode Collectorate.
On being grilled by senior officials, including District Revenue Officer S Ganesh (nodal officer of the TNPSC exam in Erode district), Revenue Divisional Officer Sugumar and Deputy Superintendent of Police Periaiah, Dhanakodi said her husband Senthil had given her the manuscript.
Police then detained Senthil late in the evening on Sunday and learnt that he was a tout who enrolled students in an engineering college for a commission.
“On the basis of information provided by him, we detained Sudhakar (32), a lecturer of an engineering college at Komarapalayam in Namakkal district and Varadarajan (29) of Bhavani, who worked as a teacher in a teachers’ training college at Solar. All the four had appeared for the examination,” Inspector N Velumani said.
Sudhakar had allegedly e-mailed the leaked questions to Senthil. “During questioning, Sudhakar said he had received an e-mail from Varadarajan. The latter has pointed fingers at Balan of Chennai, who is at large,” he added.
On the basis of their confessions, all four were arrested and booked for criminal conspiracy (Section 120B IPC), breach of trust (Section 406) and cheating (Section 420). They were produced before a judicial magistrate who remanded them in judicial custody for 15 days. While the three men were MSc degree holders, Dhanakodi was a postgraduate in Library and Information Science. “We have obtained the mobile phone number of Balan and are conducting inquiries to trace him,” Velumani said.
In a related development, a special police team from Dharmapuri district reached Tiruvannamalai during the wee hours of Monday and arrested two government schoolteachers, Vivekanandan and Rangaraj.
Meanwhile, TNPSC chairman R Nataraj warned that those found involved in the scandal would be permanently debarred from appearing in future examinations conducted by the agency. “If any of them are serving government employees, we will take steps to get them dismissed from service,” he said.
“We will hold the re-examination as early as possible. We are looking for dates,” Nataraj added.