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Cheats never prosper: More than 1,000 arrested over mass cribbing in India

Cheats never prosper: More than 1,000 arrested over mass cribbing in India
Hundreds of people, including teachers, parents and police, have been arrested in northeastern India after evidence of rampant cheating emerged during state exams. Some detainees had scaled the walls of school buildings to help the students.

"More than 1,000 people were detained, half of them were parents and teachers while the other half consisted of friends and relatives," Gupteshwar Pandey, a police official in Bihar state, told AFP on Sunday. "Fifty percent have been released but I believe that the others are still probably in jail."

According to Pandey, at least two policemen were also arrested and 10 more were dismissed after being implicated in the scam.

The official said those detained were not treated like hardened criminals, but the police wanted to let them know they had committed a serious offense. Many were soon released, but had to pay fines ranging from 2,000 rupees ($32) to tens of thousands of rupees, depending on their involvement in the offense.

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Numerous photos and a video presented earlier this week showed the students using smuggled crib sheets, which friends and relatives had handed to students after climbing the walls of examination centers.

"Reports of cheating in examinations have drawn a bad name to Bihar... I have issued a strict order to stop rampant cheating in ongoing examinations," Bihar’s Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said on Saturday, as cited by the Hurriet Daily News.

Over 1.4 million students are sitting exams that began last Tuesday and are scheduled to last till March 24. Following the scandal, exams in four centers were canceled and 600 students were expelled. The cheating students could be barred from taking exams for three years and also be jailed or ordered to pay a fine, but punishment in such cases has rarely been exercised in Bihar state.

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The chief minister also warned parents that helping children cheat would only harm their future.

“One can get a certificate by using unfair means in examinations but [they] will not gain knowledge…cheating will not help in any way,” Kumar said.

In 2013, over 1,600 students were disqualified in Bihar after similar videos surfaced.