Hyderabad police on Tuesday busted the fraud in the engineering semester exam answer sheets of Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University by arresting four university contract workers and four former engineering students.

The accused used to take out answer sheets sent to the examination branch office for evaluation and give them to the students who would write again before returning them. The contract workers would put the answer sheets back in the office without arousing suspicion, said Commissioner's Task Force (East) Inspector R.G. Siva Maruthi.

The contract workers and former students were charging Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 for each exam answer sheet, and thus making huge money. An amount of Rs.3.45 lakh, 17 answer sheets, eight mobile phones, and a bike were seized from the arrested persons. The fraud began nearly three months ago when Shaik Manju Malik, 22, former engineering student who failed in three subjects, approached B. Mangilal, 25, lift operator in JNTU campus at Kukatpally, seeking his help for passing the exams.

The lift operator, in turn, contacted D. Parashuram, 24, M. Narender, 24, B. Bheemudu, 22, all working in examination branch, to bind the answer sheets. They joined hands with V. Nagarjuna Reddy, 22, L.S. Chandra, 22, and B.S. Bharath, 21, former engineering students who failed in some subjects. The two groups of contract workers and ex-students would share the money equally between them. By tearing off one page of the OMR sheet attached to the answer sheet, the university authorities made it difficult for others to identify the answer sheet written by a student. “To overcome this, the students would put star or circle mark on the backside of answer sheets,” the police said. This made it easy for the contract workers to identify the answer sheet of “their client”. Later, they would tie the answer sheets to their legs with rubber bands and hand them over to the students after coming out of the examination branch building. “The student would write answers at their home or any convenient place and return them to the gang,” said the investigators.

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