When a raiding team of education department and other officials, along with the police, scaled a wall to gain access to these seven students on Thursday, the youngsters' parents too were found present in the under-construction building.

Apart from seizing the question paper, answer sheets, mobile phones and syllabus books, the raiding officials also came across eatables and soft drinks from the spot, situated a few hundred metres away from the exam centre at the Adivasi Bal Vikas Vidyalaya at Ratu.

The school head claimed innocence and said he was not aware as to how the question papers and answer sheets were sent outside the exam centre.

Taking note of the incident, Education Minister Neera Yadav said public faith in the education system in Jharkhand will not be allowed to be broken.

"The matter will be thoroughly investigated. Those guilty will face strict action. Taking question paper and answer sheets outside the examination hall is a very serious offence," she said.

A total of 175 students were allegedly caught cheating in matriculation exams, with another 163 students in intermediate class exams.

While the Jharkhand government is claiming to provide quality education to students in state-run schools and colleges, the number of students caught cheating in exams is significant.

Most cases of use of unfair means in examinations have been reported from Chhatarpur sub-division of Palamu district.