PATNA: Senior IAS officer and chairman of Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) Sudhir Kumar was arrested on Friday in Hazaribagh in neighbouring Jharkhand in connection with the leak of question papers of recruitment examinations held earlier this month.
Four relatives of the 1987-batch IAS officer--his brother Professor Awadhesh Kumar, his wife, daughter-in-law and a nephew--were also taken into custody for their alleged role in facilitating the question paper leak, said sources. The Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the State government to probe the question paper leaks in two consecutive phases of the examinations, made the arrests.
BSSC secretary Parameshwar Ram was earlier arrested in this case on February 8. Sudhir Kumar, who was interrogated at least thrice by the SIT, had said he had absolutely no role in the leak of question papers on WhatsApp hours before the examinations started. He had, however, told journalists that he and other senior officers of BSSC had been receiving recommendations from top politicians, including ministers, to help certain candidates clear the examinations for recruitments into clerical posts in the State government.
“Sudhir Kumar’s role in the leak of question papers has been confirmed in the investigations conducted by the SIT,” said Patna zonal inspector-general Nayar Hasnan Khan to journalists after Kumar was arrested. Sources in the SIT also said that the probe has found “conclusive evidence” that Kumar’s relatives were involved in the leaks.
Kumar’s nephew and daughter-in-law had appeared for one of the examinations, said a source. In order to help them crack the examinations, Kumar allegedly facilitated the question paper leaks.
The SIT brought Kumar and three other arrested people to Patna from Hazaribagh on Friday. The SIT had arrested the owner of a printing press in Ahmedabad on Thursday for his alleged role in the leaks.
The latest development brings the total number of arrests made in this case to 33. Question papers of the four-phase recruitment examinations conducted by BSSC were leaked on WhatsApp hours before the candidates sat in examination halls on January 29 and February 5.