Bengaluru, May 3 (IANS) Shivakumaraiah, the suspected kingpin behind the pre-university course (PUC) chemistry question paper leak in Karnataka, has been arrested after a month-long hunt, a top police official said on Tuesday.
“We found him hiding in an under-construction building on Monday night and took him into custody under the Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Prevention Act (KCOCA),” state criminal investigation department (CID) Director General of Police H.C. Kishore Chandra told reporters here.
A special court sent Shivakumaraiah to 10-day judicial custody for further investigation, as he was found to be involved in leaking question papers of other exams held by the state secondary school board and universities in the state.
Investigations revealed that the suspect was on the run for a month and fled to neighbouring states, including Tamil Nadu, after his co-accused named him during custodial interrogation following their arrest in mid-April.
“We are on the lookout for his son Dinesh, and relative Kiran, who were also involved in leaking the chemistry paper on March 21 and again on March 31, leading to the cancellation of the exam twice,” Chandra said.
The PU board held the re-scheduled exam on April 12 without a hitch across the state.
Fearing imminent arrest, Shivakumaraiah sought anticipatory bail on April 7 in a court, which rejected it after the CID invoked the stringent KCOCA on April 21.
Probe into Shivakumaraiah’s past also revealed that cases were registered against him for his alleged role in the leak of question papers between 2008-2014 in the city and Tumakuru, about 70 km away from the city.
Among the dozen suspects arrested in the paper leak scam include Oblaraju, personal assistant (PA) to state Medical Education Minister Sharan Prakash Patil, Rudrappa, a PWD officer, and Manjunath, a teacher in a city private college.
The paper leak for the second time also led to the suspension of 40 officials in the PU board exam division from joint director to class four employee (peon) on the same day (March 31) and transfer of board director Pallavi Akurathi, a 2009 IAS batch officer, to another state department on April 1.