Students of the Central Board of Secondary Education on Thursday gathered at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to protest the board’s decision to conduct the Class 10 mathematics and Class 12 economics papers exams afresh following reports that question papers had been leaked. While the economics exam was held on Monday, the maths exam was conducted on Wednesday, hours before the CBSE announced it will hold a re-tests.

Several students claimed that question papers of almost all subjects had been leaked. They demanded that if the board was going to conduct the examination again, it should do so for all subjects. The students held placards that read: “Stop playing hit and trial with our lives” and “It is not the students who need a retest, it is the system”.

“It is impossible that the board was not aware of the leakage,” an agitating student told PTI. The student added that the board had denied the leak at first but it may have “just been pretending” to be in the dark. “They should have cancelled the exam in the morning.”

Minister of Human Resources Development Prakash Javadekar said the incident was unfortunate and that he understood the pain of students and their parents. “The police is on the job and I am very sure they will nab the culprits as they have done in case of the Staff Selection Commission exam leak case,” Javadekar told reporters.

The minister said the CBSE will soon release the new exam dates. “We must make all efforts that these exams proceed smoothly and without any breach,” he added.

Congress attacks Prakash Javadekar

The Congress on Thursday demanded that Javadekar and CBSE Chairperson Anita Karwal must be removed from their posts for a “fair and impartial investigation” into the matter. “There was an error in evaluation of Class 12 exams in 2017 too,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told reporters. “Why was the post of CBSE chairman left vacant for two years?”

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanded strict action against the people involved in the leak. “I really feel sorry and sad for the students who have to give their exams again for no fault of theirs,” Kejriwal said on Twitter. “Responsibility should be fixed and strict action should be taken against those responsible.”

Congress President Rahul Gandhi took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment calling himself the chowkidaar (security guard) of the country. “How many leaks? Data leak, Aadhaar leak, SSC Exam leak, Election Date leak, CBSE Papers leak,” Gandhi said on Twitter. “Every thing is a leak, chowkidaar is weak.”

In another tweet, the Congress President said: “The exam leaks destroy the hopes and futures of millions of students. The Congress always protected our institutions. This is what happens when institutions are destroyed by the RSS/BJP. Believe me when I say, this is only the beginning.”