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Two arrested in HSC exam question paper theft case

Cuttack: Rushing to meet the Orissa High Court deadline, the crime branch police on Friday arrested two persons in connection with the annual High School Certificate (HSC) examination-2012 question paper theft case.

Sources said police are likely to file the final report in the case at a court in Puri district very soon.

While the high court on September 6 had asked the police to file the final report in the case within 40 days, the crime branch's arrest of two persons came just four days before the HC deadline expires.

According to crime branch sources, two peons of Bajapur Bhagavati Vidyapeetha of Puri district were arrested for "dereliction" of duties and were forwarded to court from where they were remanded to jail custody after their bail applications were rejected by the Nimapada JMFC court.

A senior officer of the crime branch said Patitapaban Chand and Rohit Bhoi were arrested under Orissa Conduct of Examination Act, 1985.

On September 6, the state high court while expressing concern over the crime branch sleuths' failure in detecting the case, had directed the police to expedite the investigation and file the final report of the case in the appropriate court within 40 days.

After it was found that some question papers of this year's matriculation examination were stolen from the Puri examination centre on March 21, just two days after the exams began on March 19, the state crime branch police were entrusted to investigate into the case.

It took nearly seven months and a nudge from the high court for the elite police to make some headway into the case.

Although crime branch police have arrested the peon duo, the police are yet to establish that the two were remotely involved in stealing the question papers.

At least 4.5 lakh examinees had written the state matriculation exams this year which ended on April 27, nearly 40 days after it began. The state government had to reschedule the examination which cost an additional Rs two crore to the exchequer.

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