More than 1,000 people have been arrested in eastern India in connection with exam cheating that saw relatives scaling the walls of a school to help students, police say.
Upwards of 1,000 people linked to the school exam cheating incident last week were rounded up and jailed in India’s eastern state of Bihar, the director general of police, Gupteshwar Pandey, said on Sunday.
Parents and teachers were among the main culprits “who were found cheating or cooperating with the cheating in school exams across the state,” Pandey added.
The detainees, however, have not been formally charged with criminal offenses.
To secure their release from jail, they are required to pay fines ranging from 2,000 rupees (USD 32) to tens of thousands of rupees, depending on their involvement in the cheating.
“Fifty percent have been released but I believe that the others are still probably in jail.… We don’t treat them as hardened, professional criminals. That’s why we release them. Our purpose is to let them know that they have committed a serious offense,” Pandey added.
Two policemen were also arrested and ten others dismissed for their involvement in the cheating.
Last week, media reports showed dozens of people clinging to the windows of a four-story building, passing cheat sheets to students taking their school-leaving exams.
School staff and armed police officers were also seen standing by as people smuggled in study aids to candidates inside examination centers.
The images went viral, putting extra pressure on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s government to take action.
“Reports of cheating in examinations has drawn a bad name to Bihar…. I have issued a strict order to stop rampant cheating in ongoing examinations,” Kumar said on Saturday.
The incident comes after a similar exam cheating scandal in Bihar in 2013. More than 1,600 students were disqualified after similar videos emerged.