Former Andhra minister Narayana arrested in question paper leak case

Former Andhra Pradesh minister P. Narayana was arrested on Tuesday in the Class 10 question paper leak case.

An Andhra Pradesh Police party arrested Narayana from his residence at Kondapur in Hyderabad and brought him to Chittoor, where a case was registered against him.

Narayana, a leader of opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP), is the founder chairman of Narayana Group of institutions.

Chittoor’s Superintendent of Police Y. Rishant Reddy told reporters that Narayana has been taken into custody, based on the investigation conducted so far in the case registered in Chittoor I Town police station.

He said the case was registered on a complaint by the District Educational Officer about the circulation of Telugu language question paper on April 27.

The SP revealed that a total of seven persons have been taken into custody so far in this case. He said Narayana was arrested, as per rules, and on the basis of technical evidence gathered and the details collected from other accused.

He said the malpractice was committed in a pre-planned manner to get more admissions into corporate schools. The police learnt that the details of the invigilators on duty at examination centres were gathered by the accused. Students who were good at studies and who were not so good were also identified to help them in malpractice.

The SP said the photograph of the question paper was taken through a headmaster at an examination centre and the accused tried to send back answers to the examination centre. The police also found during the investigation that the question paper leak also happened in a similar manner in the past.

The accused arrested in the case had worked in Narayana institutions in the past. Police were also probing the role of other educational institutions.

Meanwhile, the TDP has condemned Narayana’s arrest. The opposition termed the arrest a political conspiracy by the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) government.

TDP’s national President and former Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu termed Narayana’s arrest a political vendetta by the state government. He alleged that Jagan Mohan Reddy government arrested Narayana to hide its failure in conducting the exams in a smooth manner.

Naidu wondered how Narayana can be blamed for the government’s failure in properly conducting the exams and preventing mass copying. He said arresting the former minister without serving an advance notice, proper investigation and without evidence is nothing but political vendetta.

Education Minister Botsa Satyanarayana, however, defended Narayana’s arrest and said if he was not involved, he should prove this.

The minister pointed out that about 60 persons, including 35 government employees, have been arrested in various cases of question paper leak and other malpractices. He said no one involved in the malpractices would be spared.

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