'Big money, safehouses': What NEET 'paper leak' probe reveals

Amid the NEET row, candidates in Bihar paid Rs 30 lakh in exchange for getting leaked papers and were sent to safe houses to mug up answers and then dropped to examination centres to prevent information leakage, as per preliminary probe.
'Big money, safehouses': What NEET 'paper leak' probe reveals
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As the NEET exam row continues to rage, sensational confessions to the Bihar Economic Offences Unit (EOU) have indicated widespread lapses in the conduct of the medical entrance examination this year. In their confessional statements, suspects said candidates paid exorbitant prices of over Rs 30 lakh in exchange for the leaked papers.

On Saturday, the agency issued notices to nine candidates asking them to arrive at their Patna office with evidence for questioning their association with the 'solver gang'. All the candidates were from different districts of Bihar and were asked to arrive on Monday and Tuesday. The testing agency National Testing Agency (NTA) is yet to respond to the latest developments.

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'Big money, safehouses': What NEET 'paper leak' probe reveals

This came after Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan maintained there was no scope for any malpractice or irregularities in the conduct of any exam.

"Every aspect is being looked into. Accountability will be fixed and depending on the nature of the lapse, action will be taken. There is no scope for any malpractice or irregularities in the conduct of any exam. We will not tolerate that. The accountability of NTA will also be fixed if lapses are found," Pradhan said.

While probing the nexus involving the 'solver gang', the Bihar EOU had found the roll numbers of 13 candidates, of which four were arrested earlier. The EOU then sought the information of the nine candidates from NTA along with a reference question paper.

EOU Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Manavjit Singh Dhillon said the NTA had sent the admit cards of the candidates through which the agency got their contact details after which the notices were sent. The students will also be questioned whether they were also made to memorise the questions by the solver gang before the exam or not.

So far, the EOU arrested 14 people after a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to probe the alleged malpractices. Media accessed the confessions of the arrested accused to the police which indicated exchange of money for the question papers. The statements claimed that medical aspirants paid over Rs 30 lakh each to the 'brokers' for the question papers.

During the course of his interrogation, a 56-year-old junior engineer with the Bihar government, Sikandar Kumar Yadavendu, confessed his role. In his confessional statement recorded by the district police, Sikandar accepted his involvement and said he met Nitish and Amit Anand -- the duo who ran an educational consultancy firm -- at his government office in Patna, where they agreed to work for the nexus together.

Sikandar, in his confessional statement, confessed that he was in touch with the families of some NEET aspirants, after which financials were bargained.

Sikandar claimed that Amit and Nitish got hold of the question paper on May 4, and had assembled the candidates in a safehouse in Ramkrishna Nagar locality in Patna. He was later arrested along with Akhilesh and Bittu by the police during its routine checking when several NEET admit cards were noticed.

Source: India Today

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