Pune: An officer of the lieutenant colonel rank who was arrested from Secunderabad on Monday was the "main culprit" in the Army recruitment paper leak case, investigators said here on 18 May.
Lt. Col. Bhagatpreet Singh Bedi (44) was responsible for printing the question paper for the local centre for the Army Relation Recruitment Exam scheduled for 28 February. The exam, meant for close relatives of Army personnel, was to take place at mutliple centres across the country, but was cancelled when the paper leak came to light.
"Probe revealed that he was in charge of printing the paper before the exam at AOC centre Secunderabad and he leaked it," said Vitthal Patil, a senior police inspector, anti-extortion cell. A team of Pune police took Bedi into custody from Secunderabad, he added.
Earlier, his associate, Virprasad Narnepati (41), posted as store keeper at the ordnance depot in Delhi, had been arrested. So far, nine persons have been arrested in the paper leak case.
As per the procedure, just before the exam, every centre is forwarded a secure link from which the question paper is downloaded and printed. "During the printing, Bedi managed to get a copy while ensuring that the act was not captured by CCTV cameras. He forwarded it to Narnepati who was staying in a hotel in Secunderabad," said another officer acquainted with the probe.
Narnepati forwarded the paper to one Narsing Rao, who passed it on to one Pawan, he said. Pawan allegedly sent the paper to Vilas Kilari, a major-rank officer, who sent it to Thiru Murugan Thangvelu, another major-rank officer. Eventually, the leaked paper was sold to some exam candidates.
"Bedi was supposed to get Rs. 1 lakh per candidate. He apparently received some money, but had to refund it when the exam got cancelled," said the police officer. While Narsing Rao and Vinay are wanted, Kilari and Thanvelu have already been arrested.
Meanwhile, Bedi was produced before a court in Pune on Tuesday and sent to police custody till 25 May, said assistant public prosecutor Premkumar Agrawal.
With Agency inputs