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PGI exam racket: Seven suspects to be produced in court today

Monica Sharma , Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, November 10, 2012
First Published: 19:04 IST(10/11/2012) | Last Updated: 11:36 IST(12/11/2012)

The Seven MBBS doctors, who were were caught cheating at four exam centres by the anti-corruption branch of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will be produced in the court today.


All the suspects were taking the PGIMER's test for admission to post-graduate courses.

Seven of their accomplices, who were helping them over the phone, were also arrested from four city hotels, said the CBI, which claimed to have got a tip-off and raided all 11 exam centres.  Panic during the raids led to chaos at some centres, though the exam was not cancelled as there was no paper leak as such.

MUNNABHAI STYLE
In an elaborate set-up akin to what Sanjay Dutt's character uses in the movie Munnabhai MBBS, the doctors smuggled in mobile phones and bluetooth headsets hidden under their clothes, and transmitted mobile-camera images of the question paper to their helpers using the internet. The helpers, who had set up 'control centres' in four hotels, got the questions solved by experts sitting in Hyderabad and Patna, and then conveyed the answers through the phone, said the CBI. Among the arrested helpers is the alleged kingpin, Guvir Reddy of Hyderabad.

In all, 7,000 students appeared for the examination, which is conducted twice a year for MD and MS seats by the Post-Graduate Institute for Medical Education Research (PGIMER). The seven caught cheating were identified as G Padmaja, G Shahjah, Aruna, C Namita, Pillai Maritha, Krishna and Sunita. Aided by the UT police and exam center staff, CBI sleuths nabbed them as their lips had been seen moving constantly during the exam.

While two of them were arrested from the centre at the Sector-15 DAV Public School, three were nabbed from the Sector-35 Government Model Senior Secondary School, and one each from Shivalik Public School, Sector 41, and St Joseph School, Sector 44.

CBI deputy inspector general (DIG) Mahesh Aggarwal, who gave the details, said the accused had been booked on charges of cheating under the Indian Penal Code (IPC): "The women photographed and transmitted the paper through their phone to their aides. The aides then got back with answers, which the women heard using wireless, Bluetooth-enabled headsets."

The headset devices were so small that one of the arrested women, C Namrita, panicked and pushed it deep into her ear. She needed surgery to get it out, said PGIMER spokesperson Manju Wadwalkar.

'Gang spread across India'

Chandigarh:  As it apprehended seven doctors cheating in the PGIMER entrance exam, the CBI's anti-corruption branch claimed to have busted a gang operating for many months at various places in India. The headquarters of the gang, according to the agency, was Andhra Pradesh, from where the seven doctors and their alleged aides belong.

The kingpin -- Guvir Reddy of Hyderabad, who is among the cheating doctors' seven aides arrested from hotels in Chandigarh -- has earlier been involved in such plans, according to CBI sources. Even as the officers claimed the seven women doctors had been on touch with the gang for months, it was yet to ascertain the amount of money paid. It is also being probed if the girls had taken other entrance exams in such a manner.

Sources said raids were conducted at Hyderabad and Patna to apprehend the experts who were solving the papers for the cheaters; details were not immediately available.

CLAIMING CREDIT
The PGIMER spokesperson claimed it was the institute that provided the tip-off to Chandigarh's senior superintendent of police (SSP), but CBI DIG Mahesh Aggarwal said, "We conducted the raids after we got a tip-off about such a gang functioning in the city with roots in Hyderabad and Patna. The PGIMER was informed in the morning before carrying out the raids."

From the accused, the CBI seized laptops, several SIM cards, special clothes fitted with sophisticated devices, button-hole cameras, tablet computers, medical books, fitting equipment, ATM cards and some cash, besides the phones.

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