Former Andhra Pradesh minister P Narayana arrested in paper leak case; TDP alleges political vendetta – Deccan Herald

Former TDP minister and founder of the Narayana group of educational institutions Ponguru Narayana was arrested by the Andhra Pradesh police for his alleged involvement in the SSC (10th) class question paper leak last month.
TDP has condemned the arrest as part of “CM Jaganmohan Reddy’s endless political vendetta against the opposition leaders.”
Narayana was taken into custody by the police from his residence in Hyderabad on Tuesday morning and was shifted to Chittoor where the case was registered.
Interestingly, another case was registered against Narayana on Monday in the CID police station, Amaravati for alleged “illegal and corrupt practices in the Andhra Pradesh capital city master plan designs and road alignments to cause wrongful gain to certain chosen persons.”
The CID FIR mentions former CM Chandrababu Naidu as the accused no. 1 and Narayana, who served as the municipal administration and urban development minister in the Naidu government as the second accused. Several businessmen and infra, realty firms were also named.
The state CID had registered a case last year too against Naidu and Narayana pertaining to Amaravati capital city project, where it was charged that SC, ST assigned lands in the region were procured deceitfully by persons close to the then TDP government.
Exam paper leaks
The school end exams, conducted from April 27 to May 9, were marred by incidents of paper leaks and malpractices. These exams could not be conducted the last two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic and all the students were promoted.
The paper leak incidents began on the first day with first language Telugu paper and such malpractices were reported in later days as well.
A case was registered on April 27 in the Chittoor I Town police station that the paper leak occurred at a branch of the Narayana Junior College at Greamspet, based on the complaint of S Purushotham, the Chittoor District Educational Officer.
The FIR, however, mentions that “unknown accused leaked and circulated the SSC public examinations first language question paper in various whats-app groups, committing criminal breach of trust.”
The case was registered under IPC Section 408 (criminal breach of trust) and provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Public Examinations (Prevention of Malpractices) Act.
Last week, education minister Botcha Satyanarayana had slammed the opposition for “politicizing small incidents and creating panic among the students and parents.”
While stating that no question paper was leaked before the commencement of exam, Botcha said that criminal cases were registered against the accused and action was taken against 69 people, including 36 government teachers, in connection with question paper leakage.
A day later on Thursday, speaking in a public event at Tirupati, CM Reddy charged that the papers were leaked from two Narayana and three Chaitanya institutions.
“Narayana, who runs schools and colleges, was the minister in the Naidu government,” Reddy said while accusing the opposition as behind the exam paper leak crime to tarnish his government’s image.
TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh said that the Reddy regime arrested Narayana “to cover up the government’s inefficiency in conducting the 10th class exams properly.”
“The Narayana couple were arrested in a case in which they had no role to play in any position or manner,” Lokesh said while accusing minister Botcha of making contradictory statements on the issue.
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