“Cash-For-Marks” Scam In Assam’s Gauhati University, 8 Arrested

A cash-for-marks scam has been detected in Assam in which eight people have been arrested. The men, the police say, have been conducting digital tampering of marksheets. The police stumbled on the scam during an investigation into the discrepancies in the marksheet of a student from Ganesh Lal Choudhury College, which is affiliated to Gauhati University. The police are widening the scope of the investigation as more arrests are expected.

The college had lodged a complaint with the police over the discrepancies in the marksheet of Azizul Haque. The marksheets displayed inflated marks when compared with the marks he actually obtained.

During interrogation, the student admitted that he paid Rs 10,000 to get his marks changed in the first, third, fourth and fifth semesters.

The arrests come amid the outrage over the NEET-UG paper leak case, in which arrests have been made in several states.

“Those responsible for operating the computer system dealing with marksheets at Gauhati University take money from students to increase their marks,” said Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

“Six cases have come to light in Barpeta. The prime accused in the case has been caught. The case has been analysed under my watch for the past seven days. It is being probed thoroughly,” he added.

Sources in the CID (Criminal Investigation Department) said Gauhati University had outsourced the Integrated University Management System (IUMS) to a third party operator. The ITI Limited is a Central government undertaking, which was responsible for data entry. The tampering happened at their end, sources said.

The arrests were made from four districts — Barpeta, Dhubri, Kamrup (Metro) and Nagaon.

Those arrested have been identified as K Krishnamurthy, Ismail Hussain, Alamgir Khan, Moinul Haque, Abul Baser, Aminul Islam (Kalgachia), Hamezuddin (Nagaon) and Shivtosh Mahato (Dhubri).Krishnamurthy is seen as the kingpin. He was heading the team at the university, luring in students.

Gauhati University has started an internal investigation.

The IUMS is the heart of the university’s digital initiative, handling all major functions of the administration, including admission, examination, re-evaluation of answer scripts, finance, storage, grievance management, student database and alumni database.

CID sources have added that they have found at least 10 instances of inflated marks and no less than 50 students had apparently paid up.

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