Bhiwandi: The operator of a coaching class in Bhiwandi, Vajir Shaikh, 40, was arrested late on Wednesday by Bhiwandi Police, for allegedly selling Secondary School Certificate (SSC) board exam question papers to the students on WhatsApp.

According to police sources, Shaikh had started a school, Royal English School, nearly 10 months ago. The school is at Dhamankar Naka, Bhiwandi. Along with this school, Shaikh also runs classes in the Vaitalpada area. Police said most of the students who had enrolled in his classes were from convent schools.

DCP Ankit Goel, Bhiwandi said, “Two cases have been registered at two different police stations—Narpoli and Bhiwandi (City) police stations. We are investigating both the cases. We are going through the list of WhatsApp numbers one by one, where the photographs of question papers were shared. We will expose the entire racket soon”.

Reportedly, three girls at a convent school in Bhiwandi were caught by schoolteacher Parshuram Dhondu Taware, looking at photographs of question papers on the WhatsApp, a few minutes before the exam. Police produced the arrested accused, Shaikh, in court on Thursday, which remanded him in police custody till March 26.

The paper was posted on a WhatsApp group before the exam. After verifying that the paper on the groups was the same paper distributed in the exam hall, the teacher informed the school principal. They then called police and filed a complaint at the Narpoli police station. The girls whose cell phones were seized, were, however, allowed to write their paper.

Govind Sharma, the president of Samvad Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, had alerted the board officials regarding a suspected paper leak incident, on March 14. He had, in fact, sent emails with screenshots of Science Paper-I, which was leaked on WhatsApp at 10am, on March 15. He had also sent screenshots of Science Paper-II, on March 18.