NEET 2017: Gangs trying to leak question papers in Patna, Jaipur arrested

Police in Bihar and Rajasthan foiled two gangs which were trying to access questions papers of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET).

india Updated: May 07, 2017 23:04 IST
Nandini/Rakesh Goswami
Nandini/Rakesh Goswami
Hindustan Times, Patna/Jaipur
NEET,Bihar Police,Rajasthan Police
SSP Manu Maharaj addresses the media after arresting several in connection with NEET exam paper leak in Patna.(PTI Photo)

Bihar and Rajasthan Police arrested nine people across Patna, Jaipur and New Delhi on Sunday for trying to leak the question paper of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical, dental, AYUSH and veterinary colleges.

Five of those arrests were made in Patna even as Bihar is yet to recover from the toppers’ scam that hit the headlines last year.

The accused were nabbed from a van carrying question papers for Christ Church School centre. They were intercepted while trying unsuccessfully to take out the question papers from a metal box. The question papers for the centre were being brought from a Canara Bank branch at Exhibition Road, 2 km away from the centre.

On a tip off that the van carrying question papers was moving to different locations rather than going to the centre, police acted quickly and followed the vehicle.

“We got information that the van was moving around rather than going to Christ Church School examination centre. Later, the van stopped near Kendriya Vidyalaya, Kankarbagh. Someone noticed torch lights flashing within the van’s dark interiors, indicating that photos of the question papers were being clicked. They, however, could not succeed as our team reached there and arrested three men along with the driver,” said SSP Manu Maharaaj.

The accused include a second year medical student of Patna Medical College and Hospital, Shiv Kumar who hails from Sahpur, Nalanda, a student of Nalanda Medical College and Hospital, Shivam Mandal (Khagaul, Patna), law student Avinash Roshan, driver Sanjay Yadav and Christ Church School centre superintendent Avinash Chandra Dubey. However, the kingpin is yet to be arrested.

Police also seized mobile phones and various equipments from them.

“It is a great achievement of Patna police. We were successful in stopping the crime before it could take place. We will catch the kingpin also very soon,” the SSP said.

In Jaipur, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Rajasthan police arrested two persons of a gang that allegedly took money from candidates for leaking the NEET question paper. Two others of the gang were arrested in New Delhi.

Senior ATS officials said the arrested men were under scanner for the last 15 days. However, the question paper they were purportedly selling didn’t match with the one that came in the exam on Sunday.

“The arrested men had taken money from candidates and promised them to leak the question paper of NEET. One of our teams had gone to Delhi and another one was in Jaipur, keeping a watch on the accused,” superintendent of police (ATS) Vikas Kumar told HT.

He said two men were arrested from Delhi and two from Rajasthan. “The men have been identified as Vikram Singh, Bhupendra Sharma, Ashok Gupta and Rahul. Singh and Rahul are from Bihar; Ashok Gupta is a resident of Delhi. Sharma is a government employee in Jaipur.”

Officials said the ATS also questioned 11 candidates who had paid money to the gang.

“Last night, our teams simultaneously raided the facilities in Delhi and Jaipur where the gang members were preparing the candidates based on a question paper, which they claimed to be for the exam,” said Kumar.

He added that the gang had taken approximately Rs 5 lakh each from the candidates, who are from several states.

“After detaining the gang members, our teams accompanied the candidates to the exam centres in the morning. When we tallied the actual question paper of the exam with the one the gang had claimed to have leaked, we found them different,” said Kumar.

Senior ATS officials said the four arrested men were being interrogated to ascertain their role in previous such scams.

“We have booked all four accused for cheating and further details are expected to come up once the investigation progresses,” said Kumar.

Over 11 lakh MBBS and BDS aspirants today appeared for NEET examination at over 1,900 centres in 103 cities across the country.

First Published: May 07, 2017 23:00 IST