To fool biometrics, the man removes thumb skin and pastes it on a friend’s hand to appear in an exam
People in India devise novel ways to cheat in exams. While some strategies are successful, others fail miserably. A candidate for a railway position allegedly peeled the skin off his thumb and glued it to a friend’s thumb in a last-ditch effort to pass the biometric verification and sit the recruitment exam in his place, according to police. According to an official, the transplanted skin fell off, and the clumsy attempt to fool the biometric device was revealed.
The candidate and his “proxy” from Bihar have been arrested.
A senior doctor stated that even if the transferred piece of skin had stuck on, the trickery would have been impossible to pull off. Manish Kumar, a candidate, and his friend Rajyaguru Gupta, both from Bihar’s Munger district, were arrested by city police for allegedly cheating.
He stated that both are in their mid-twenties and have passed the Class 12 exam.
On August 22, a private company authorized by the Railways held a recruitment test for ‘D’ group vacancies in the Laxmipura area, with over 600 candidates participating, according to a police official. To prevent cheating (via impersonation), all candidates were required to provide a thumb impression, which was matched with their Aadhaar data via a biometric device. He claimed that despite repeated attempts, verification failed when a candidate identified as Manish Kumar gave his thumb impression.
When the examiner noticed the applicant attempting to conceal his left hand by placing it in his jeans pocket, he became suspicious. The skin pasted on his left thumb came off when the supervisor sprayed sanitizer on it. After questioning him and discovering that his real name was Rajyaguru Gupta, a case was filed against him and Kumar under Indian Penal Code sections 465 (forgery), 419 (cheating by impersonation), and 120-B (criminal conspiracy).
Gupta told police that Kumar suggested sending Gupta in his place to take the railway test because he was good at studies.
Kumar got a blister on his left thumb from touching a hot cooking pan the day before the test. He then removed the skin with a blade and pasted it on Gupta’s left thumb, knowing that biometric verification would be required before the test. According to an Ahmedabad-based doctor, such “transfer” of fingerprint skin would never work. Protein makes up the skin and ridges on the fingerprint. When a blister forms due to excessive burning, these ridges are defaced. Even if someone attempts to paste such a piece of skin onto another person’s thumb, the biometric machine will never recognize it because the skin has lost its original structure.