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regular-article-logo Monday, 22 July 2024

Neet row: Bihar police recover 6 post-dated cheques 'issued for question paper facilitators'

According to sources, it is suspected that nine aspirants, along with four other examinees from Bihar who have already been arrested by the EOU, received the exam's question paper and answers in a 'safe house' near Patna a day before it was conducted on May 5

PTI Patna Published 16.06.24, 08:33 PM
Representational image.

Representational image. File picture.

The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police has recovered six post-dated cheques which were suspected to have been issued in favour of mafia demanding over Rs 30 lakh from each candidate seeking alleged leaked question paper ahead of NEET held last month.

"During the course of investigation, EOU sleuths recovered six post-dated cheques that were issued in the favour of criminals who reportedly facilitated question papers to the aspirants ahead of the examination," Manavjit Singh Dhillon, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), EOU, told PTI on Sunday.

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Investigators are ascertaining details about account holders from the banks concerned, he added.

The EOU has so far arrested 13 people, including four examinees and their family members, in connection with the alleged NEET-UG 2024 paper leak case. All accused belong to Bihar, said the DIG.

The EOU has also issued notices to nine candidates (seven from Bihar and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra) to join the probe, he added.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) 2024 was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) at 4,750 centres in 571 cities for more than 24 lakh candidates.

The result of the NEET-UG 2024 was declared on June 4. As soon as the results were declared, there was an uproar, with many students alleging discrepancies.

A group of candidates has approached the Supreme Court demanding a fresh exam due to alleged paper leaks and concerns about the test's integrity.

According to sources, it is suspected that nine aspirants, along with four other examinees from Bihar who have already been arrested by the EOU, received the exam's question paper and answers in a 'safe house' near Patna a day before it was conducted on May 5.

During interrogation, the aspirants disclosed that their parents had paid more than Rs 30 lakh for every candidate to those who facilitated questions papers ahead of the exam.

"The evidence of the transaction has also been found and six post-dated cheques have also been recovered during the course of investigation. The EOU sleuths also recovered partially burnt question papers from the safe house.

"We have sought reference question papers from the NTA. It has not responded to this so far. Once we get reference question papers from the NTA, we will send the burnt question paper to the appropriate forensic laboratory for its examination," the DIG said.

The NEET-UG examination is conducted by the NTA for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH and other related courses in government and private institutions across the country.

Sources in the EOU further said that investigation has so far revealed that the question papers of NEET-UG and their answers were provided to around 35 aspirants before the May 5 exam.

Candidates from different places in Bihar were brought to a rented accommodation at Ramkrishna Nagar in Patna, where they were provided with the question papers and answers. Police conducted a search at the rented premise and recovered mobile phones, admit cards and other incriminating documents, the sources said.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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