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Newsmen Bureau

Kolkata, 11 October: DESPITE the claims by Bengal education department about putting in place a full-proof arrangement, the primary Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) in the state on Sunday could not pass off without a controversy.

Two city based Bengali TV news channels ~ ABP Ananda and 24 Ghanta have claimed that they got hold of a question paper via WhatsApp around 1 pm on Sunday, that is, one and a half hour before the test began in 5,200-odd exam centres across Bengal.

After the test concluded at 4.30 pm, ABP Ananda interviewed several examinees as they emerged out of the exam centre at Asutosh College in Kolkata and showed them a copy of the question paper that the channel had received via WhatsApp. The examinees confirmed that it was this question paper on which they had just written the test.

ABP Ananda maintained that soon after receiving the question paper via WhatsApp, they brought the matter to the notice of West Bengal Board of Primary Education (WBBPE) and also lodged a complaint with the Gariahat police station.

24 Ghanta too maintained to have received the question paper before the exam and brought the matter to the notice of WBBPE senior officials at Bikash Bhavan in Salt Lake.

On being queried by reporters on this Sunday afternoon, WBBPE chairman Manik Bhattacharya ruled out that the question paper had been leaked before the exam. “It is an issue of cyber crime (the transmission of question paper via WhatsApp) and both the senders and the recipients should be brought to book,” he said.

Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee, who was camping in his chamber at Bikash Bhavan from 12 noon to till the end of the test, evaded media queries on the issue.

The controversy has cast uncertainty on the hard work of around 23 lakh examinees who appeared for the primary TET across Bengal today.

This was not the only issue that haunted the TET examinees today. In several places, on turning up at the exam venue mentioned in their admit cards, several aspirants found out that no seat had been allocated for them.

This happened to some 70-odd examinees who went to the Purba Barisha High School in south Kolkata but were told to go away as their names were not there in the seat allotment list. They were allowed to write the exam but only after an agitation.

The case was same with two candidates who reached the Bally Shikshaniketan School in Howrah with admit cards having same roll number. Following this, Tanushree Chatterjee, of Domjur was not allowed take the test but Suman Deb, who had the same roll number as her’s, was allowed to appear. Similar incidents were reported from Krishnanagar in Nadia and Belda in Murshidabad.

At Gankar railway station in Murshidabad around 100 examinees got stranded in a train bound for Jangipur following a railway signal failure. They could finally reach their exam centres in Jangipur by an hour’s delay and appeared for the exam without any additional time being granted to them.

Anil Kumar Dumra, a TET candidate at Krishnanagar High School in Patrasayer in Bankura died at a local hospital after he suffered a cardiac arrest while writing the test. In another incident, Biswajit Chatterjee of Beliatore was hit by a lorry while he was going to the examination centre on a motorcycle. He died on the spot.

At Chanditala in Hooghly, Saikat Ghosh, the husband of a TET candidate Piyali Ghosh, died after meeting an accident when he was taking his wife to the exam centre on a motorbike.

The primary TET was held from 2 pm to 4.30 pm on Sunday after being postponed twice. The test was originally to be held on 30 August but had to be cancelled after some question papers went missing in transit.

The rescheduled date 04 October also had to be changed as it clashed with other competition exams and the elections in three civic bodies were already scheduled a day before on 03 October.