Crime branch of Jammu and Kashmir Police on Saturday claimed to have exposed a major scam at an IGNOU centre in Kathua district.
A crime branch spokesperson said that about 4,000 students were issued degrees without appearing in examinations.
“About 4,000 students have been shown taken admission through the centre and till date no examination has been conducted by this centre. The students enrolled through the centre have been shown appeared in examinations and degrees issued to them,” the spokesperson said.
“The scam at the Indira Gandhi National Open University centre was unearthed after the police received an input that a person - identified as Prashant Bandari - and his associates were involved in fraudulently conducting examinations and giving admissions to students at the centre established in Billawar town in 2014-15,” the spokesperson said.
Citing the preliminary investigation, the spokesperson said fake attendance sheets and answer sheets using the centre codes of Katra, Kishtwar, Chatroo and Paddar were submitted to IGNOU, adding thousands of rupees were collected from each candidate.
“Thousands of rupees were collected from each candidate and the money was embezzled through bank accounts opened in the name of the chairman and a non-existent coordinator. The honorarium of faculty members and counsellors was also swindled by Bandari, his associate Bhopinder Gupta and others in connivance with a few IGNOU officials,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson alleged that officials of IGNOU and post offices are involved in preparing fake answer sheets at regional centres.
“In this scandal, officials of IGNOU and post offices are involved in preparing fake answer sheets at regional centres. A case has been registered but no arrest has been made so far,” the spokesman added.
(with inputs from agencies)