The Central Zone Task Force team, along with the Begum Bazar Police, nabbed a gang of seven, including the mastermind, an Assistant Section Officer in the Telangana Public Service Commission (TSPSC), for leaking the question paper for exams conducted by the TSPSC, and seized the devices used by them.
The gang included network admin of TSPSC and a constable from the Medchal Police of Cyberabad Commissionerate, said the police, adding that the seized devices were handed over to the forensics team, who will examine them to find if they had leaked any more vital information.
The main accused, 32-year-old Pulidindi Praveen Kumar, an assistant section officer at the TSPSC and a resident of Badangpet, Balapur, ganged up with 35-year-old Atla Raja Shekar Reddy, who works as a network admin at the TSPSC, 35-year-old Renuka, her 38-year-old husband Lavdyavath Dhakya, 33-year-old Kethavath Rajeshwar, 28-year-old Kethavath Neelesh Nayak and 31-year-old Kethavath Rajender Nayak, along with two candidates, 29-year-old Pathlavath Gopal Nayak and 30-year-old Kethavath Srinivas, a police constable from Medchal, South-West Zone DCP Kiran Khare said.
The arrests were made based on the complaint given by Assistant Secretary (Administration) of the TSPSC on Saturday with the Begum Bazar Police, following which the gang was nabbed on early Monday morning.
“While Praveen Kumar has been working at TSPSC since 2017 and Rajasekhar Reddy also joined on an outsourcing basis in November 2017. Rajasekhar, being a network expert, has full information about all the computers in TSPSC and he has all the IP addresses of all the systems,” the DCP explained.
“The duo managed to steal the data from the computer of the confidential section using Rajasekhar’s knowledge, following which they transferred the data to Praveen’s pendrive and took a print out of the civil exam paper and General Studies paper. The papers were handed over to Renuka, a school teacher, and her husband Dhakya Nayak for ₹5 lakh on March 2. Subsequently, another ₹5 lakh was handed over to Praveen on March 6 after the exam was conducted,” the DCP added.
Prior to this, Rajeshwar Nayak, brother-in-law of Dhakya, had contacted his cousin Kethavath Srinivas, and asked him to purchase the question paper since he was also writing various exams. “However, he refused to purchase the papers since he was focusing on Sub-Inspector recruitment. But he then directed them to contact Nilesh Nayak and Gopal Nayak, who were appearing for the AE (Civil) Exam. Accordingly, Rajeswhar Nayak contacted Neelesh and Gopal Nayak and took ₹13.50 lakh from them. They were given the papers and were escorted to the examination centre on March 5 by Dhakya and Rajeshwar,” the DCP said.
All the accused persons were taken into custody by the Begum Bazar Police and are being produced before court for judicial remand. They were booked under sections 409, 420, 120 (B) of the IPC, section 66 (b) (c) and 70 of the IT Act, and section 8 of the Prevention of Examinations Malpractices Act.