Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has announced that those ‘guilty’ of leaking the question paper of a major entrance exam for teachers in the state will be charged under the ‘Gangsters Act’ and their property will be seized.
On Sunday, Yogi’s government was forced to cancel the Uttar Pradesh Teacher Eligibility Test (UPTET) 2021 — an eligibility test for primary or upper primary teachers to take classes in state-board affiliated schools — after the UP Police found that the question paper had been leaked.
The leak sparked outrage, with Opposition parties levelling charges of corruption against the government.
Over 20 lakh students were set to appear for the entrance exam.
Acting on a tip-off, the Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force arrested 23 persons from across the state in the early hours of Sunday. They shared the information with the government, which then cancelled the exam.
“Twenty-three people, including a few from Bihar, have been arrested from across the state. A few photocopies of the question papers were found from those arrested. Investigation is underway,” UP Additional Director General of Police, Law and Order, Prashant Kumar, said in a video statement.
The exam will now be held next month and the applicants will not have to fill any forms, the government said.
Fresh political slugfest
Speaking at an event in Deoria Sunday, hours after the paper was cancelled, Yogi Adityanath promised tough action against the ‘guilty’.
“Our government will take strong action against such people,” he said, adding that charges will be filed under the ‘Gangsters Act’ — the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986 — and their property will be seized.
UPTET का पेपर लीक करने वाले गिरोह को गिरफ्तार करने के निर्देश दिए जा चुके हैं।
दोषियों को चिह्नित कर त्वरित कार्रवाई की जा रही है।
दोषियों के विरुद्ध गैंगस्टर एक्ट के तहत मुकदमा दर्ज कर उनकी संपत्ति भी जब्त की जाएगी।
— Yogi Adityanath (@myogiadityanath) November 28, 2021
UP Basic Education Minister Satish Dwivedi told reporters in Lucknow that an order has been issued to file an FIR in the matter and the investigation has been handed over to the UP STF so that the accused can be identified and strict action can be taken against them.
“The aspirants will be able to write the exam again at no extra cost in a month’s time,” he added.
However, the Opposition parties hit out at the Yogi government over the alleged paper leak, levelling graft charges in the case.
“Cancellation of UPTET 2021 exam paper due to leak is playing with the future of 20 lakh unemployed candidates. Paper leaks, cancellation of exams and results have become commonplace under the BJP government. UP is at the peak of educational corruption,” Samajwadi Party national president and former UP CM Akhilesh Yadav said in a statement on Twitter.
“There will be a revolution of the unemployed. There will be a change in 2022,” he added, in a reference to next year’s assembly polls.
UPTET 2021 की परीक्षा का पेपर लीक होने की वजह से रद्द होना बीसों लाख बेरोज़गार अभ्यर्थियों के भविष्य के साथ खिलवाड़ है। भाजपा सरकार में पेपर लीक होना, परीक्षा व परिणाम रद्द होना आम बात है।
उप्र शैक्षिक भ्रष्टाचार के चरम पर है।
बेरोज़गारों का इंक़लाब होगा ~ बाइस में बदलाव होगा!
— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) November 28, 2021
“Corruption in recruitment, paper leak has become the identity of the BJP government. Due to the paper leak of UP TET today, the hard work of lakhs of youths got ruined. Every time the paper is out, Yogi Adityanath ji‘s government has saved the big fish involved in corruption, so corruption is at its peak,” tweeted Congress UP in-charge Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
भर्तियों में भ्रष्टाचार, पेपर आउट ही भाजपा सरकार की पहचान बन चुका है। आज यूपी टेट का पेपर आउट होने की वजह से लाखों युवाओं की मेहनत पर पानी फिर गया।
— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) November 28, 2021
(Edited by Amit Upadhyaya)