At least six lakh students who registered to write the board exams in Uttar Pradesh have skipped papers on the first three days, The Times of India reported on Friday.

Over 67 lakh students enrolled for the state board exams this year. Of these, over 37 lakh enrolled for the Class 10 examinations and 29.8 lakh for the Class 12 exams.

Deputy Chief Minister and the state’s Secondary Education Minister Dinesh Sharma attributed it to a government crackdown on cheating. “Around 80% of these examinees were from outside UP,” Sharma said. “They enrolled themselves in schools they never attended.”

The Uttar Pradesh Madhyamik Shiksha Board also said “strict measures” against cheating resulted in the low attendance.

More than 1.8 lakh students had not appeared for the Class 10 and Class 12 examinations on Tuesday, the first day. Education officials said that CCTV cameras had been installed in exam halls and local intelligence agencies are checking activities of the “education mafia”, according to PTI.

On the first day, a Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh Police had busted a copying racket and arrested three people, including the headmaster of a school in Naini city.