Leakage of question papers in the Plus Two examination is nothing new. Last year too, the question papers were allegedly leaked but it remained under the wraps since the racketeers managed to play their game well.
This has come to light following interrogation of Kartik Kumar Barik and Subashish Barik who were taken for a two-day remand by the Crime Branch. On Thursday, their remand ended and the two were sent back to judicial custody. Kartik is the Chairman of Sambalpur-based Shandilya College of Science and Commerce while Subashish, a relative, ran the marketing affairs of the institute.
Reliable sources said the duo spilled the beans during the intense two-day grilling and even took names of people involved in the network. Incidents of leakage in 2012 examination were mentioned by the two.
Most of the leakage was believed to be limited to Sambalpur region but could have spread to other parts of the State too.
In fact, role of Debendra Behera, who was Deputy Secretary of CHSE for the region, has become pronounced in the whole scheme of things but what appears prima facie is that there were people above him whose patronage led to the well-oiled racket.
Though Behera was a man from Bhubaneswar, he wielded serious influence in Sambalpur and Sundargarh districts of Western Odisha where he spent a considerable time strengthening his network and clout. He had major say in selection of centres and centre superintendents. This indicates that such leakage went on unabated for years. "Just that it came to public notice this year, but the process seems rigged," said the sources.
It was because of his clout that Behera could withstand a barrage of protest petitions and complaints against him and stayed put at Sambalpur.
While Barik brothers have come up with more names and new players involved in the racket, the whole affair has shown CHSE in poor light. "What it has shown is that Council has no autonomy. Its heads are handpicked and puppets in the hands of powers that be," said the sources.
People with political and financial influence have been deciding the examination centre. There have allegedly been instances where students have contributed money to pay the "appropriate people" and their college is designated as a centre.