PU dept director transferred

Bengaluru,DHNS: The state government on Friday transferred Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) Director Pallavi Akurathi, a day after the II PU Chemistry re-exam was cancelled due to question paper leak.

The 2009-batch IAS officer had taken charge in February. Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda has been given the additional charge as DPUE director, the post which he had held a few years ago. Akurathi has been posted as deputy secretary DPAR.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) intensified the probe into the question paper leak and questioned about 20 students and some officials of the DPUE.

Some students had got the question paper at least 15 hours before the start of the re-examination on March 31. They also shared it through WhatsApp.

A few of these students were questioned to ascertain if they knew anybody in the DPUE. Besides, the CID probing the “links” between some suspended officials and some top coaching centres, sources added.

“The CID questioned about 20 students on Saturday and may question some more. The team also questioned some of the DPUE officials who were suspended on Thursday. We need to question all 40 officials who have been suspended and the questioning will resume on Saturday,” DIG (CID) Sonia Narang told DH.

The investigators also suspect a larger conspiracy behind the leak. “There could be a plan to defame the DPUE and Akurathi. She initiated a slew of measures to ensure transparency in the department and examination processes. Some insiders could have masterminded the leak twice to target her,” sources said.

Students protest for 2nd day

Students protested outside the DPUE office for the second day on Friday against the Chemistry re-examination paper leak, DHNS reports. Students and parents raised slogans demanding Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar’s resignation. Some ABVP activists got into a scuffle with the police. The protesters also tried to break a barricade and enter the DPUE office. The police detained some protesters and bundled them into vans. Some protesters were also caned.

Initial probe has confirmed that Bengaluru is one of the three centres where the question paper was leaked and other two could be Tumkauru and Ballari.

The CID suspects the paper was leaked even before it was printed. Efforts are on to gather evidences against those who monitored the entire process of printing the question papers and transporting the bundles to strong rooms.

Narang said there has been a lot of progress in the investigation and what remains to be ascertained is the people who masterminded the leak.

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