Former TDP minister Narayana held in SSC question paper leak case

The case was registered after the first language question paper was ‘leaked’ via WhatsApp from a Zilla Parishad high school at Nellapalli to the teachers of Narayana Group. 

Published: 10th May 2022 12:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2022 09:02 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA/TIRUPATI: The Chittoor police on Tuesday arrested former Municipal Administration and Urban Development minister and founder chairman of the Narayana Group of Institutions P Narayana in the SSC question paper leak case.

The case was registered after the first language question paper was ‘leaked’ via WhatsApp from a Zilla Parishad high school at Nellapalli to the teachers of Narayana Group. 

The arrest sparked a war of words between the YSRC and TDP. While TDP termed the arrest an attempt to divert the attention from the government’s failures, the ruling YSRC insisted that they were acting against an “organised crime,” going on unabated for years.

Police, meanwhile, said the alleged crime was committed to ensure the students excelled in the exams, and thereby attract more students to the institution. 

The arrest, incidentally, came after Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held TDP leaders and Narayana Group responsible for the April 27 question paper leak.

The Chittoor police registered the case based on a complaint by the district education officer. Seven people, including vice-president Giridhar Reddy of Narayana School in Tirupati, were arrested earlier. Narayana was arraigned as an accused after recording Giridhar Reddy’s statement.

The former minister was arrested from his Hyderabad residence and brought to Chittoor.

The institution’s Dean, Tirupati Bala Gangadhar, was also arrested. 

Chittoor district police chief Y Rishanth Reddy said Narayana was arrested after establishing his complicity. The officer said the institution had received advance information on the deployment of invigilators to a particular examination centre.

“The institution has divided its students into two categories, poor and better, and after luring the invigilators to help the poor students, they resorted to the malpractice,” the Chittoor district police chief added.

The probe has reportedly revealed that the group had indulged in such illegal means earlier too. 

“Exams were not held for the past two years and with the introduction of the marks system, the institution has been under pressure to show results,’’ Rishanth Reddy said.Detailing the modus operandi, the officer said the institution made a few to click a photo of the question paper and forward it outside the centre.

“An answer key would be prepared at the (institution’s) head office or regional office and the same would be circulated to the centre. An in-charge was assigned to each centre and through them it would reach the water boys or attenders. This was the practice adopted earlier but we could foil it this time,’’ he added.

“They wanted zero failure and maximum marks. The institution rewarded employees, who helped in achieving better results, monetarily. The management even provided the resources to pay the invigilators,’’ the police superintendent added.

The institution focused more on physics, maths and chemistry to prepare students for entrance exams. It allegedly resorted to malpractice to ensure the students fared well in languages too.

On Narayana’s role, the officer said investigators have technical evidence and statements of the accused pointing at his complicity.

He added that the TDP leader cooperated with the arrest. Other institutions like KR Chaitanya, Sri Chaitanya, and NRI Academy were also being probed.

“The employees of these institutions had earlier worked with the Narayana Group,” the officer said. 

When pointed out that Narayana had resigned as the chairman of the institution two years ago, Rishanth Reddy said they would further probe the matter.

The case has been registered under various IPC sections, including 120B, 201, 409, 408 and also AP Public Examinations (Prevention of Malpractices) Act. Two government employees, too, were among the accused.

Meanwhile, police foiled an attempt by TDP activists and employees of Narayana Institutions to stop the AP police at the Telangana border.

Midnight medical check-up for Narayana

Former minister P Narayana was taken for a medical check-up under heavy security around midnight on Tuesday. He was brought to Chittoor late in the night.  After the check-up, he will be produced before a court  

India Matters


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