Scam suspect's chequered past

Amit Kumar alias Bachcha Rai, director-cum-principal of Vishun Roy Intermediate College in Vaishali district's Bhagwanpur that is at the centre of the raging Intermediate exam toppers controversy, was arrested for trying to bribe a senior police officer about four years ago.

By Ramashankar in Patna
  • Published 8.06.16
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Vishun Roy College director-cum-principal Bachcha Rai (seated right) with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and Tej Pratap at an election rally last year. Telegraph picture

Patna, June 7: Amit Kumar alias Bachcha Rai, director-cum-principal of Vishun Roy Intermediate College in Vaishali district's Bhagwanpur that is at the centre of the raging Intermediate exam toppers controversy, was arrested for trying to bribe a senior police officer about four years ago.

Bachcha had approached Siddharth Mohan Jain, who was then the Vaishali superintendent of police (SP), over a criminal case - of assault, intimidation and attempt to murder - lodged against him.

"I had kicked him out when he offered Rs 1 lakh as bribe. I got him arrested immediately," Jain, who served as the Vaishali SP from February to August 2012 and is now the Katihar SP, told The Telegraph today.

"In 2014, two cases related to irregularities in the grant of affiliation to the college were lodged with the vigilance bureau; the agency gave him a clean chit," said a local resident on condition of anonymity.

Another senior police officer in Hajipur said Bachcha and his father Rajdev Rai were named in a case lodged for inciting a mob at an examination centre in Hajipur - where students from Vishun Roy College were taking the test - on the last day of the Intermediate examination in March this year. Vaishali district magistrate Pratima Patil and SP Rakesh Kumar were pelted with stones when they tried to stop cheating there.

Students of Vishun Roy College, set up in 1997-98, have been regularly shining in Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) exams. In the Intermediate exam this year, all the 1,007 students who appeared secured first division; 222 of them got identical marks. Ruby Rai and Saurabh Shreshtha, who topped in the arts and science streams respectively but failed to answer basic questions about their subjects on camera, have exposed the reality.

Local residents alleged Bachcha enjoyed clout at the Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University, Muzaffarpur. Vishun Roy College, which was affiliated to the university (the state government has cancelled the affiliation following the toppers' controversy).

"Though Bachcha was not a member of the university senate, he was often seen in official meetings," said a senior teacher at the university.

Last year, the BSEB was forced to review the results of students from Vishun Roy College following uproar after around 200 Intermediate students in the science stream turned in identical answers. The matter was later hushed up.

"Unaided private colleges mushrooming across the state are using unfair means to ensure high scores for their students," a BSEB official told The Telegraph.

Last year, 459 out of 470 students of the Singh Nishad Narayan Ramavtar College in Begusarai and 582 of 601 students of the BRS Mahila College in Samastipur secured first division. All 127 students of Iraki Girls' Intermediate School in Nawada also secured first division.

Many times, the same college produces state toppers in all subjects.

The number of colleges with many high-scoring students saw a steep hike when the state government - during Nitish Kumar's second term - linked students' performance to funding. An unaided private college gets Rs 4,000 annually for every candidate securing first division, Rs 3,500 for every second division result and Rs 3,000 per third division candidate.

"Colleges produce high-scoring students by ensuring mass copying and providing impersonators for weak candidates," said a BSEB official.

Bachcha, said an RJD worker from Bhagwanpur, "is a diehard supporter of Lalu and flourished during the Lalu-Rabri regime".

Asked about his links with Bachcha, Lalu, however, thundered: "Whoever this Bachcha is, send him to jail first. Then we will know about his links... He was driven out from the RJD. He doesn't know me."

He also pooh-poohed allegations that Bachcha had spent money for his party candidates during the last Assembly elections and campaigned for Tej Pratap. "If anybody says anything it doesn't mean it is true," Lalu said.