Arrests point to involvement of organised network

Even as 10 persons have been arrested in the last ten days, the mystery behind the TNPSC Group II question paper leak is yet to be fully unravelled as investigators have not been able to get any major lead in tracking down the original source of the leak.

Latest developments in the probe point to the possibility that the question paper could have been leaked from neighbouring States.

The leak came to light when a section of candidates who appeared for the exam at a centre in Erode town on August 12 registered complaints with the authorities concerned stating that a total of 40 questions were leaked a few hours before the commencement of the exam.

A few candidates had access to the scanned copy of handwritten question paper, reportedly circulated by S. Dhanakodi, a resident of Bhavani.

During preliminary inquiry, it was revealed that Dhanakodi’s husband Senthil, a librarian in a private engineering college, gave the question paper to her. It was said that Senthil obtained the question paper from his friends S. Sudhakar and M. Varadharajan. Senthil, his wife and two of his friends were arrested.

During interrogation Varadharajan said that he got a copy of the question paper from Balan of Chennai, over e-mail.

Varadharajan took the help of his lecturer friend A. Selvaraj to download a copy of the question paper from his e-mail at an Internet centre at Namakkal. Selvaraj was arrested on Wednesday morning.

The same day, M. Mohanbabu (24), J. Jayasrinivasan (26) and P. Sathishkumar (27), who are said to be accomplices of Balan, were also arrested. Balan alias Sridhar Raj surrendered before a court in Coimbatore.

The case took an interesting turn on Wednesday night when the police learnt that Balan obtained the question paper from two brothers — Thiyagarajan (35) and Senthilkumar (31) of Tiruvallur district.

“We were under the impression that Balan leaked the question paper. But Thiyagarajan and his younger brother sold the question paper to Balan. It appears that the two brothers purchased the question paper from a person outside Tamil Nadu,” a senior police officer here said. The brothers were arrested on Wednesday night.

“There seems to be an organised network behind the leak. This is not the first time the network has leaked the question paper of TNPSC exams. Preliminary inquiries reveal that the network has been functioning since 2004. We will dig deeper into the case,” the officer said.

The police plan to send teams to other States, including Andhra Pradesh, in search of the original source of the leak and to get at the root of the network.

A judicial magistrate court in Erode granted conditional bail to Senthil, Dhanakodi, Sudhakar and Varadharajan on Thursday.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National