The crime branch on Thursday widened its investigation to nail those involved in alleged controlled examination for a few selected candidates to get them through to professional courses through the state's premier institute of the board of professional entrance examinations (BOPEE). Some brokers have been arrested and students questioned to unearth the racket.
After questioning former BOPEE chairperson Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, the crime branch, it is reliably learnt, is scanning phone calls, bank accounts and transactions made by officials accused in the scam in 2012.
Sources said the crime branch had some clues and evidence pointing to ill-means to favour a few students. The crime branch, however, is tight-lipped over the evidence they had laid hands on. It is interesting that just one name has surfaced so far. Peer was holding all three top positions of the BOPEE - that of secretary, controller examination and chairperson of the board.
There are written complaints filed with the crime branch alleging that a separate examination centre was set up on the banks of Dal Lake to secure admission for a selected few for courses such as the MBBS. It is alleged that `20 lakh was paid by 12 candidates to secure seats in the common entrance test 2012.
Several brokers have been arrested and students interrogated to verify the allegations. A broker, sources said, was cooperating with the crime branch. A few brokers are still at larger, according to the sources.
Peer, however, has denied having any role in the scam. "The allegations are baseless," he said.
The crime branch has seized several gadgets and cash from Peer's house. Sources said Peer was close to a few mainstream political parties. Both separatists and mainstream political parties have demanded action and scrapping of admission of those students.
Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said, "When our own officers will stoop so low for money and mar the rights of genuine and qualified youths who could we blame." He said his government had unearthed the scam of its own initiative and would hand over severe punishment to the culprits, as per the provisions of law.
The government has terminated the services of Peer as a consultant to the state after the allegations.