University of Pune marks scam: Lens on three junior clerks for any past blot

Police are now probing whether the three junior clerks arrested for the alleged marks re-evaluation scam at University of Pune were involved in increasing marks of students during their earlier postings in other departments.

The junior clerks identified as Ramesh Shelar (43), Ashok Ranwade (44) and Chetan Parbhane (38) were arrested on January 8 in connection with re-evaluation scam.

Seven other suspects including four examination department staffers identified as assistant registrar Rajendra Pandit, re-evaluation section head Lalsingh Wasave, re-evaluation section officer Surendra Naidu, senior clerk Nanda Pawar and three students Alamari Sami Hamud, Obed Ahmed, both hailing from Oman and Mohsin Mehboob Shaikh from Pune, were arrested on January 12. Pandit was also a member of the panel appointed by the UoP to probe the scam.

Assistant police inspector Mahesh Bolkotgi of Chatushrungi police station produced the 10 suspects before judicial magistrate (first class) K M Pingale on Wednesday.

The officer sought an extension of the police custody of the suspects saying that investigation needs to be conducted to see if the three junior clerks had hiked marks of students after taking money from them during their earlier stints.

The officer also told the court that interrogation of students is important to know the flow of money. While two foreign students have been arrested, investigations revealed that of the 21 students who reportedly got their marks hiked, 20 were

foreigners.

Assistant public prosecutor A K Pacharane said that custody of the senior UoP officials arrested in this case is needed to get more information about the scam and whether more persons are involved in the scam.

Suspect Ranwade's lawyers Harshad Nimbalkar and his assistant Rishi Ghorpade said he has been in custody for sufficient time and hence it should not be extended.

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