For the second time in 10 days, the Chemistry paper of Class XII was leaked in Karnataka today, forcing cancellation of the exam and triggering strong protests from parents and students. Violence broke out in front of the Department of Pre-University Education (DPUE) building as a section of agitated students started pelting stones, damaging glass windows, police said. According to police, the paper leak took place in two different locations in the state, a development that affected over 1.74 lakh PUC (Pre-university course) students. Earlier, the scheduled March 21 Chemistry exam was cancelled and rescheduled for March 31 after a II PU science student alerted the authorities about the question paper leak.
After the student blew the lid off the paper leak, the state government had handed over the investigation to CID. Amid a surcharged atmosphere in front of the DPUE building, a parent went upto the terrace and threatened to jump, saying there are no officials present to listen to their plight. But he was persuaded against doing so and brought down. Another student fainted during the protest and was shifted to hospital, police said. The issue also rocked the Assembly, where Opposition BJP members staged a dharna and raised slogans, demanding the resignation of Primary and Secondary Education Minister Kimmane Ratnakar. “The CID is investigating the matter and the government is very serious about it. They are finding out who the culprits are – whether they are insiders or outsiders,” Home Minister G Parameshawara told reporters. He said the matter is serious as it concerns the future of lakhs of students and added that once the CID submits its report, government would not only take action against the guilty, but also take precautionary measures to avoid such things from happening.
Raising their voice in protest against the re-examination for the second time, students refused to take another re-exam. “Why should we take another examination, and that too for the second time in 10 days? Why cannot the government take security measures to prevent such incidents from taking place?,” some students at the protest site asked. Another student said they are facing the added tension of appearing for the coming competitive examinations. “We are tense as the board has once again cancelled the exam. Where do we have time to appear for competitive examinations?” she said.