Several candidates who have taken an examination held by the Staff Selection Commission in February continued to protest in New Delhi for the third day on Thursday against the alleged leak of a question paper, and demanded that the Central Bureau of Investigation look into the matter. They had met officials of the selection panel on Wednesday evening to submit evidence of their claims.

The students protested outside the Staff Selection Commission’s office at CGO Complex in New Delhi on Thursday. They had started their agitation on Tuesday, just days after the SSC said it would conduct a re-test for candidates who took the Combined Graduate-Level Examination on February 21, due to “technical reasons”. The SSC made the announcement on February 24, and scheduled the re-examination on March 9.

Candidates took the examination between February 17 and February 22, but the February 21 test was “delayed” and “candidates faced inconveniences” because of “incomplete downloading of data”, the SSC had said.

Students have alleged “mass cheating” in the examination and said the question paper was leaked. They have also claimed blatant corruption at the SSC and in the examinations that it conducts. The Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union, the National Students’ Union of India, and the All India Students Association have joined the protests and issued statements in support.

On Wednesday, SSC Chairman Ashim Khurana claimed the protests were “being actively instigated and sponsored” by two coaching institutes “with vested interests”. He did not name the institutes. Later, the commission gave the students until 10.30 am on Thursday to give evidence to support their allegations, after which the panel would decide on referring the matter to an “independent investigating agency”.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said on Thursday that the “SSC scam” was “another Vyapam”, referring to the alleged irregularities in admission and recruitment examinations conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board.