Modus operandi in Bihar constable exam, NEET paper leaks same: Officials | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Modus operandi in Bihar constable exam, NEET paper leaks same: Officials

Jun 29, 2024 05:26 AM IST

Investigators have identified the Sanjeev Kumar (aka Lutan Mukhia) gang as a common link between the paper leaks in Bihar constable recruitment exam last year and NEET-UG 2024

Patna: Bihar police’s Economic Offence Unit (EOU), which is probing the 2023 constable recruitment exam paper leak case, has claimed that mafia involved in the crime breached the security chain during transportation to access the question paper, a modus operandi also believed to have been followed in alleged irregularities in this year’s NEET-UG, officers aware of the details said on Friday, identifying the Sanjeev Kumar (aka Lutan Mukhia) gang as a common link between the two cases.

Sanjeev Kumar alias Lutan Mukhiya
Sanjeev Kumar alias Lutan Mukhiya

The Bihar constable recruitment examination was conducted by the Central Selection Board of Constables (CSBC) in October last year. The paper was scheduled on October 1, 7 and 15 due to large number of candidates —over 1.8 million had applied for 21,391 vacancies, however, the very first day the questions leaked and following uproar the exam had to be cancelled and further exams postponed.

An EOU officer, requesting anonymity, said that during interrogation of arrested accused, it came to light that the paper leak was carried out through a well-hatched plan to lay hands on the sealed questions during their transit from the printing press, scan them through specialised tools and then hand them over to their clients with solved answers in exchange for hefty sums.

The EOU found that the CSBC had an agreement with a Kolkata-based company — Caltex Multivation Private Limited (CMPL) — for printing of question papers, packaging and transportation to treasury.

“The CMPL handed over its work to a Blessing Secured Press Private limited (BSPPL) for printing question papers and confidential documents in violation of the agreement and the work order. In the agreement, there was no provision of outsourcing/subletting work,” the officer added.

The BSPPL is owned by one Kaushik Kar, who was earlier accused in the Uttar Pradesh teacher recruitment paper leak case and a case was lodged against him in Varanasi and Bidhannagar in West Bengal in 2018 and 2019, respectively.

“Kaushik’s wife is the director of CMPL while former employees of BSPCL—Suman Biswas, Sanjay Das and marketing consultant Sourabh Bandopadhyay — were directors of CMPL,” additional director general, EoU, NH Khan said, adding they have received all related documents from the Registrar of Companies, Kolkata and Chattered Accountant of Kolkata.

The agreement said the company would directly transport the questions to treasury from printing press, but the confidential papers were transported in open vehicle without seal, lock and security guard to a ware house of DP World Express Logistic Pvt Ltd (DPWELPL) in Kolkata. Later, the consignment was downloaded in Patna warehouse and transported to districts treasury by Zenith Logistic and Express Pvt. limited (ZLEPL).

“During the stay in Patna, Lutan Mukhia gang members lured ZLEPL employees Rahul Paswan and Ramesh Kumar to lay hands on question papers. The gang members got the question papers four days prior to the first phase examination. Once the questions were scanned, they were provided to solvers and from them they reached the targeted groups, who are kept at a pre-determined place and made to mug the answers,” Khan said. “The gang members provided answer key to the aspirants after taking hefty money. The answer key went viral on social media on the day of examination.”

Paswan and Kumar had also applied for the recruitment test. While the former appeared on first day (October 1, 2023), Kumar’s exam was scheduled on October 7. Their admit cards were seized by the EoU.

In the 2024 NEET-UG case filed by CBI on Sunday, officials said the paper may have been leaked on May 3, two days before the exam, while being transported from the Ranchi airport to an office of courier company Blue Dart, and then to the Hazaribagh branch of the State Bank of India (SBI) with the help of employees of either the transport company or the courier agency.

The EOU, which arrested 18 people and recorded the statements of SBI and Blue Dart employees, handed its case files to CBI. Police officers, declining to be named, said those arrested — including members of Mukhia gang — have, in the past bribed employees of courier companies, drivers involved in transportation and photographed question papers en route to different exam centres.

“Police have shared statements of the Blue Dart company employees and bank officials with CBI which will question them soon,” one officer said.

Last month, the NEET leak case was busted after Bihar police officers recovered a burnt photocopy of a question booklet from outside the Learn Play School and Hostel in Patna. It is at this school that over two dozen students were shown the question papers on May 4 – a day before the examination – by members of the Mukhia gang. Mukhia is absconding, while his aides have been arrested by Bihar police.

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