Smooth operators; they fooled even doctors. Deal exposed, three men trying to make money selling a fake question paper of Sunday's Punjab Medical Entrance Test (PMET) here, and two doctors who agreed to pay Rs 12 lakh each for it to help their wards are under arrest. The police have seized Rs 4 lakh (the advance exchanged) and the copies of the bogus quiz.
A secret input led the police to uncover the swindle of getting money out of people by showing them an easy way into the Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) undergraduate medical course.
"Superintendent of police (detective) Raghbir Singh Sandhu and deputy superintendent of police (city) Jagjit Singh coordinated the crackdown," said senior superintendent of police Hardiyal Singh Mann.
"Ferozepur's Rinku Sidhu, who moved of late to Delhi, ran this network of agents selling management-quota seats in the bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery (MBBS) course in various colleges of the country."
Suspects Sidhu, Dilshad Hussain, Dheeraj Dhingra are charged with plotting to dupe the MBBS aspirants, and suspect Akshay Mishra of Bareli in Uttar Pradesh is accused of passing them the contact numbers of more than 600 science students sitting the PMET. The gang contacted the students on SMS (short messaging service on cell phones), offered guidance, and told them it had the test paper, if they could arrange Rs 12 lakh each.
The group had a fake email ID of biology lecturer AK Sehgal of a private college in Himachal Pradesh to give the impression that he had set the test questions. The paper it sold to Ferozepur's Dr Rajpal Bhullar and Mal Raj of Guru Har Sahai town in Ferozepur, and Hoshiarpur's Dr Kuldeep and Kapurthala's Harish for Rs 12 lakh each was old.
Sidhu, Hussain, and Dhingra were at Guru Har Sahai to receive Rs 2 lakh each as advance from Dr Rajpal and Mal Singh, when the police caught them all. Dr Rajpal had bought the question paper for his daughter and Mal Singh for his son. Dr Kuldeep is also in custody, while a hunt is on for conduit Akshay Mishra.
An insider from the BFUHS might have leaked the candidates' details to Mishra, said the police. "Original questions were never leaked out," said SSP Mann. "We gathered from the suspects that they worked for commission. A case under Sections 420 (cheating and inducing delivery of property) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 66-D of the Information Technology (IT) Act is made out."