The Uttar Pradesh police constable recruitment examination that was held on February 17 and 18 stands cancelled and will be conducted again within six months, the state government announced on Saturday.

A total of 48 lakh candidates had taken the examination to fill 60,244 police constable positions, reported The Indian Express. The examinations were held at 2,370 centres in 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh.

The decision to cancel the exam came after hundreds of candidates held demonstrations in the state capital Lucknow on Friday alleging that the question paper was leaked.

The protesting candidates alleged that the question paper could be bought at a price between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh, reported The Times of India. They said some of the candidates had received the question paper eight to 12 hours before the exam.

The Uttar Pradesh police recruitment and promotion board on Monday constituted a committee to investigate the allegations.

On Saturday, the state police also registered a case regarding the question paper leak and arrested two men. They were identified as Satya Aman Kumar, who had appeared in the examination, and Neeraj, who allegedly provided the question paper.

After the announcement, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath said in a social media post that there “can be no compromise with the sanctity of examinations”.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader also said that “strictest action” will be taken against the accused persons.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi described the decision to cancel the exam as a “big victory for student power and youth unity”.

“The message is clear – no matter how much the government tries to suppress the truth, our rights can be won only by fighting unitedly,” Gandhi wrote X. “Those who unite will win, those who divide will be crushed.”

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav said the cancellation of the examination goes on to prove that the BJP government has accepted the question paper was leaked.

“Now everyone has started to understand the truth of the game that the BJP government is playing with unemployed young men and women in the name of jobs,” said the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister. “Advertising job vacancies just for show, charging fees worth billions of rupees, allowing papers to be leaked and then pretending to cancel them. This game will prove very costly for BJP this time.”