New Delhi: The Varanasi Police Tuesday arrested a medical student from the King George’s Medical University (KGMU) and another person for their alleged involvement in a National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) examination solving racket. While the medico has been identified as Dr. Osama Shahid and the other person is Abhay Kumar Mehta, said the police on Wednesday. Earlier, the police had arrested a BDS student Juli Kumari, who was allegedly impersonating the actual candidate, and her mother in this connection. Mehta is the brother of arrested BDS-II student Juli Kumari. As per reports, Mehta had convinced Juli to appear in the NEET exam in place of an aspirant from Tripura — Hena Biswas — after getting a proposal of Rs 5 lakh from the solvers’ gang.Also Read - NEET-UG 2021 Scam: Medical Aspirants Submit Detailed Representation Before NTA, Demand Re-exam, CBI Probe
Based on the interrogation of the four arrested, a few other members of the racket which is allegedly active in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and several other states — have been identified. Reports suggest that the police have also put together separate teams to nab the other people related to the scam. During the investigation, it came to light that a Patna-based person, who is known by his initials PK, is the leader of this interstate gang, while Shahid used to hunt for such candidates. Also Read - NEET Scam: Gang's Mastermind 'PK' On The Run With His Family
Speaking to the media, Varanasi Commissioner of police A. Satish Ganesh said that Shahid, a native of Mau district, who had appeared in MBBS final year exam at KGMU Lucknow this year, used to find aspirants on behalf of a Patna-based solvers’ gang. He said, “This gang used to take contracts to send impersonators to appear in the entrance exam. In case a candidate qualified in the exam, the gang charged anything from Rs 30 lakh to Rs 40 lakh from the candidate.” Also Read - NEET-UG 2021 Latest Update: Kerala High Court Seeks Reply From NTA Over Plea Seeking Retest of Exam in Poothotta Centre
“Police have recovered copies of 15 admit cards, four photos of aspirants, four receipts of couriers, two mobile phones containing chatting of gang members, details of money transaction and other items,” he added.
“Both the persons arrested on Tuesday have divulged the names of the members of their gang belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and other states. Several teams of police have been formed to nab the other members as well as the kingpin of the gang,” he said.
Adding that Shahid was acting as a bridge between the people, the Commissioner further said, “There is a supply-side and a demand side. The demand side focuses on coaching centres and retrieves data on candidates who belong to well-off families and failed to clear the NEET exam in previous attempts. The supply-side identifies bright candidates, who have recently cleared the exam, but are financially weak.”
An FIR has been lodged under section 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (fraudulently or dishonestly uses as genuine any document which he knows or has reason to believe to be a forged document) and 34 (criminal act is done by several persons in furtherance of the common intention) of IPC against them with Sarnath police.
What is the NEET Scam?
Just a day after the NEET exam was held, the Jaipur Police had arrested a 10-member gang that was engaged in helping financially sound students crack the NEET exam with the help of dummy candidates who were made to take the test in their place by editing the pictures of the real candidates on admit cards. Surprisingly, these accused confirmed to police officials that they too were ‘working hard’ since the last year to zero in on the dummy candidates. It was a hard task to find such candidates who could take the test and help the real candidates crack the exam, they revealed during interrogation. The police arrested this 10-member gang a few hours before the start of the NEET exam on Sunday.
Police investigation confirmed that the gang started its search for dummy candidates a year back from those students who have taken the test and cleared it. Most of these are students who are pursuing MBBS now. They were convinced to sit for the real candidates and pass the test. Those from the poor backgrounds were chosen and the pictures of the candidates were edited on the admit card to help them take the test said, officials. They confirmed that the dummy candidates were also helped financially from time to time so that their faith in the gang remained intact.
This incident surrounding the NEET exam came to light comes after the recent JEE Main scam case wherein an entire exam centre in Sonipat, Haryana was allegedly hacked. As per reports, a private firm had allegedly taken the exam on behalf of students remotely and the candidates paid Rs 15-20 lakh to do so.
(With Agency Inputs)