Paper leak case: Second arrested Army Major sent to police custody till March 15

The state Women and Child Welfare Ministry had urged all civic bodies in the state to provide financial assistance to the disabled in their jurisdictions to reduce their suffering due to the lockdown.

The second Army officer of Major rank arrested in connection to the question paper leak in the soldier recruitment process was remanded to the custody of Pune City Police till March 15 by a court on Wednesday.

The Army officer, identified by the police as Vasant Vijay Kilari (45), was detained from Delhi on Tuesday. He was subsequently arrested in the question paper leak case registered with the Wanawadi police station under sections 520, 401 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, the Maharashtra Prevention of Malpractices at University, Board and other Specified Examinations Act, Prevention of Corruption Act and Information Technology Act.

Police had earlier arrested a 47-year-old Army officer, Major Thiru Murugan Thangavelu, who was serving at an Army establishment in Tamil Nadu. On Monday, the court had remanded him to police custody for eight days.

A Crime Branch team of Assistant Commissioner of Police Lakshman Borate produced Kilari before Additional Sessions Judge S R Navandar on Wednesday afternoon.

The police told the court, through prosecution lawyer Premkumar Agarwal, that Kilari had forwarded the question paper to Thangavelu. Kilari and Thangavelu were officers of the same batch, said the prosecution lawyer. After receiving the question paper, Thangavelu allegedly sent the question paper to another arrested accused, Bharat Adakmol, from his phone through WhatsApp and later deleted the chat.

The prosecution sought custody of the accused to find out from whom Kilari procured the question paper and to how many more persons it was forwarded later on. Police also want to look into Kilari’s mobile phone, which he claims was damaged after it fell into water.

The defence lawyer argued that custodial interrogation of Kilari was not required because he was nabbed by the police around 9 pm on Tuesday and also confronted with other accused. The court, however, granted police custody of Kilari till March 15 for further investigation.

Police said that names of more accused persons may surface during the investigation. Earlier, after the leak had come to light, Pune Police had registered two separate offences at Wanawadi and Vishrantwadi police stations.

Following a joint operation by the Military Intelligence and the Crime Branch of Pune City Police, a question paper leak in the Common Entrance Exam for recruitment of Soldier (General Duty) had come to light in the last week of February, after which the all-India exam was cancelled.

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