Marks altered during data entry: Cops

Re-evaluation 'scam': 'Role of evaluators not ruled out'; 3 suspended clerks yet to be traced

The police team probing the alleged re-evaluation scam in the University of Pune (UoP) have found that the fraudulent changes in the marksheets of students were made at the data entry level by the suspects involved in the case. The police, however, have not ruled out involvement of answersheet evaluators in the alleged malpractice.

In December 2012, the UoP administration had lodged a criminal offence against three clerks who were allegedly involved in increasing students' marks during the re-evaluation process of examination papers in lieu of money. The 'scam' came to light for the first time in October 2012 when the Cantonment police investigating dummy students' racket stumbled upon the alleged irregularities in the re-evaluation process.

The university had set up a three-member fact-finding committee which, in its report, named three examination department clerks — Ashok Ranawade, Ramesh Shelar and Chetan Parbhane — who were suspended.

"Our investigations so far have made it clear that the fraudulent changes were made at the time of entering the data of marks obtained by the students into the system after the answersheets were re-checked. However, at this stage we cannot rule out the possibility of involvement of evaluators in the malpractices. We are yet to arrest the three suspects in the case. Once that happens, their interrogation will throw further light on the modus operandi of those involved in the alleged scam."

Sharad Awasthi, a retired assistant commissioner of police (ACP) who headed the three member fact-finding committee, said: "Though the purview of our committee was limited, the inquiry conducted by us also pointed towards the same. It's apparent that the marks were increased while they were being entered into the system. This was the reason our committee had recommended that the IT system at the examination department be strengthened and human intervention is kept to the minimum."

Meanwhile, the police are yet to arrest the three clerks who went missing even before the UoP administration filed the case.

An officer privy to the investigations said: "The phone numbers of all three suspects are not reachable. Despite several attempts, we have not been able to extract any information from the family members of the suspects . At the time they had applied for the anticipatory bail; we had tried to search for them but they couldn't be traced. Our search teams are on the lookout."

Ranawade and Shelar used to stay at the university staff quarters while Parbhane had taken up a private accommodation outside the campus. On December 15, a day after the fact-finding committee submitted its report, the university suspended the three, but the suspension letters could not be handed over to them as they had gone "missing" by then.

Special desk at all police stations to deal with crimes against women

With the increasing number of crimes against women and girls being reported from different parts of the city, a special desk has now been set up at every police station to attend to such complaints. A woman officer will first listen to these complaints and then direct the complainant to a senior woman officer. Commissioner of Police, Pune, Gulabrao Pol has already announced that a team of women would be patrolling the police station jurisdictions as beat marshals and closely monitor movements of anti-social elements near colleges, schools and hostels. A press statement issued from the Pune police commissionerate said the complaints at the

special desk for women would be dealt with on priority and referred to a senior woman police officer and also the in-charge inspector of the police station concerned. The desks started functioning at all 33 police stations in the city from Saturday.-ENS

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