In a major crackdown, the Crime Branch of the Maharashtra Police in Thane near Mumbai arrested at least 18 persons and detained 350 candidates from Pune, Goa and Nagpur on charges of leaking the exam papers of the Army Recruitment Board.
The question paper for recruitment to some lower level posts in the Army was allegedly leaked in Maharashtra and Goa, leading to cancellation of the examination that was to be conducted on Sunday.
The Crime Branch of Thane police have arrested 18 people from Maharashtra and Goa since last night for their alleged involvement in the leak, as confirmed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Parag Manere.
Thane police said 350 students were also detained for questioning and later let off.
Army sources said in the national capital that tests were cancelled at examination centres including in Kamptee, Nagpur, Ahmednagar, Ahmedabad, Goa and Kirkee.
The examinations were held for a number of posts including those of soldier clerk, strongman and soldier tradesman at 52 centres across the country.
The Army has ordered an internal enquiry and further action will be taken based on the findings. Tests that took place nationwide on Sunday were likely to be "countermanded" in more centres.
The questions were allegedly leaked to candidates by some people working for coaching classes. The aspirants had to allegedly cough up Rs2 lakh each for the question paper.
Following a tip-off about the leak, Thane police, with the help of their local counterparts, conducted raids at various places in Nashik, Pune and Nagpur in Maharashtra, and some others in Goa. Some aspirants were found writing the papers at different places in Thane during the raids.