GUWAHATI, June 30 - A cash-for-marks scam has come to light at the Assam Down Town University, with police arresting a former student of the institute who allegedly lured �mediocre� students and collected money from them assuring them of pass marks.
The police action followed an FIR from the university authorities at the Panikhaiti Police Station on June 25.
In the FIR, the university authorities said they have come to know that such a cash-for-marks racket was going on in the institute. Four persons, including employees of the institute, were named in the FIR as suspects.
One of the accused Gunajit Choudhury, also a faculty member of the institute, is said to be absconding. He resigned from the university after the case was registered with police. He hails from Nalbari and had been staying at Lakhi Nagar, Hatigaon.
�We arrested one Jal Nooruddin Ahmed, aged around 28, from Barpeta yesterday. He had passed out from the institute in 2015 and was a student of Gunajit Choudhury,� Noonmati ACP Purabi Mazumdar told The Assam Tribune.
Ahmed used to get in touch with mediocre students of the university through social networking sites. �Once they got familiar, he used to tell the gullible students that he could manage them pass marks in subjects if they were ready to pay. Many students fell prey to him,� Mazumdar said.
Initially, the rates to get pass marks in a subject ranged between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000. However, now the rates have increased to more than Rs 20,000 per subject.
�We now know at least nine to ten students who had paid to get marks. There could be more. Further investigation will reveal it,� the ACP said.
Ahmed was today produced in a court and taken into seven days� police remand. Police have scanned the transaction details of Ahmed�s bank accounts and have found deposits of amounts like Rs 20,000, Rs 21,000 to the tune of over Rs 5 lakh in the last few months.
The three other persons named in the FIR have been questioned by police and their statements taken. Police have not ruled out involvement of other employees of the institute in the racket.
Police are not sure if actually the marks of the students were altered. �It could be that some students passed on their own merit. But we are trying to verify if the marks were tampered with. If it is so then definitely it is not possible without the involvement of more faculty members,� police sources said.
More arrests in the case are on the cards. The scam has cast aspersions on the veracity of the certificates issued to the students pursuing various courses including nursing, under the university.