The CBI on Tuesday conducted searches at 50 locations in seven states as part of its probe in two cases related to the leak of constable recruitment exam papers in Himachal Pradesh, officials said.
The agency had registered two FIRs on November 30, 2022 on a request from the state government to take over the investigation of cases probed by the state police.
Question papers of written examinations for the post of Constables in Himachal Pradesh Police, held on March 27, 2022 were leaked ahead of the date by several middlemen spread across states.
The leak was detected on May 5, 2022 and the examination was cancelled the next day followed by the constitution of a Special Investigation Team by the HP Police on May 7.
Searches on Tuesday were conducted in Kangra, Una, Mandi, Hamirpur, Kullu, Shimla, Sirmour districts in Himachal Pradesh, Nalanda, Samastipur, Munger, Lakhisarai, Patna, and Navada in Bihar, Haridwar and Dehradun in Uttrakhand, Pathankot in Punjab, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Gazipur, and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh, Rewari in Haryana, and in Delhi, a spokesperson of the CBI said in a statement.
Middlemen based in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi, Haryana, and Punjab were operating in an organised manner to leak the exam papers, it has been alleged.
Earlier, three cases were registered by the state police in connection with the leak in Gaggal (Kangra), Arki (Solan), and at CID Police Station in Bharari (Shimla).
As many as 1,87,476 applications were received for 1,334 posts of constable.
75,803 candidates qualified the physical test out of which 26,346 candidates had cleared the written examination held at 81 centres across 11 districts on March 27.
About 253 persons including the owner of the printing press, staff, owners of coaching centres, kingpins, agents, family members of candidates, and candidates were arrested during the course of investigation by the SIT, and chargesheets against more than 150 accused were filed in the court.
According to the state police investigation, multiple gangs were involved in the leak and habitual offenders, engineers and people working in the government department of Railways and income tax were among the kingpins and agents who leaked the papers.
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