Sambalpur: A couple running a fake college has absconded after duping students of over Rs 9 lakh in Sambalpur district.
The matter came to light 25 students of Jamuna Devi Junior College at Charbati near Dhanupali were barred from sitting for the Plus Two examination on Wednesday.
When the students arrived at the examination centre at Anchalik College in Sonepur district, they were told that they could not sit for the examination because no admit cards were issued to them.
They were also told that their college was not affiliated to the Council of Higher Secondary Education (CHSE).
Following this, the students lodged a complaint against the college principal, Tusar Barik, and his wife Manjulata, a faculty member.
According to police, the college was opened by the accused couple two years ago at a rented house at Charbati.
The duo collected Rs 9.75 lakh from 25 students including Rs 36,000 as admission fee and Rs 3,000 as examination fee from each student in the last two years.
The college had no teachers and Tusar and Manjulata taught all the subjects. When the students sought admit cards for appearing in the Plus Two exams, they were told that the cards would be provided at their examination centre.
However, when the students turned up at the centre they were refused. They rushed back to their college only to find it locked and both Tusar and Manjulata missing.
Deputy Secretary of the CHSE zonal office, Uttam Kumar Pradhan said the Council had given affiliations to 46 colleges in Sambalpur and Jamuna Devi Junior College did not figure in the list.
“It is surprising that no one suspected the authenticity of the college despite it having no faculty members,” he said.
IIC of Dhanupali police station, Kamal Kumar Panda, said a case has been registered against the accused couple and efforts were on to trace them.