Students from abroad tapped for fraudulent increase in marks: Cops

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The probe into the alleged re-evaluation scam in the University of Pune has revealed that students from foreign countries studying in various colleges in Pune were mainly tapped for the fraudulent increase in marks for money. Of the 21 students suspected to have got their marked increased, 20 are from abroad, according to the police. Two from Oman were among the seven persons arrested on Saturday in connection with the case, who, along with a member of the fact-finding committee and a deputy registrar, were on Sunday remanded to police custody till January 15.

The investigation by the police into dummy students' racket had revealed that the suspects arrested in the case were also allegedly involved in another racket of fraudulently passing the students who had failed in examinations, by increasing their marks during re-evaluation of answersheets.

After initial investigation, the Cantonment police had given the university administration a list of 21 students whose marks were allegedly increased after re-evaluation.

A senior officer with the Chatushrungi police said: "Twenty of these students are foreigners from Oman, Afghanistan and other countries. It seems students from foreign countries were mainly tapped for fraudulent increase in marks. Surprisingly, many of these 21 students were not found at the addresses they had furnished at various educational institutes for admission. Many of the addresses even seem fake. We are probing all angles... All of them are studying in private educational institutes in the city. Three arrested students are from two colleges belonging to the same parent organisation."

The officer added: "It is obvious that foreign students were tapped as they were ready to pay more money. It is possible that in some cases the margin between the marks actually obtained and that after the fraudulent increase is large."

On Saturday evening, the Chatushrungi police arrested Rajendra Pandit, assistant registrar of examinations who was surprisingly a member of the fact-finding committee appointed by the university to inquire into the allegations; Lalsingh Wasawe, head of the revaluation section; and two more employees Surendra Naidu and Nanda Pawar, alleging that they were part of the conspiracy.

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