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Bihar cops obtain reference NEET papers, ED likely to join probe

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra
Last updated on: June 22, 2024 22:02 IST
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The Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police has obtained National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) 2024 reference question papers to compare these with documents recovered during a search operation last month from a flat in Patna and is also exploring the 'possibility of conducting narco analysis and brain mapping tests' of accused in the case, sources said on Saturday.

IMAGE: Police personnel detain Samajwadi Party supporters during a protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG 2024 entrance exam results and the cancellation of UGC-NET exam, in Lucknow on Friday, June 21, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

They also indicated that the Enforcement Directorate might investigate the money laundering aspect of the alleged irregularities in the medical entrance examination NEET, conducted by the National Testing Agency in May.

"We had requested the NTA for the reference question papers after we began the probe last month. Finally, they did the needful. We will tally these papers with partially burnt papers seized from a Patna flat last month. This exercise is likely to be done before a forensic examination of such documents," an EOU source said.


Top officials of the EOU are likely to visit Delhi on Saturday to 'discuss certain aspects of the ongoing probe with the senior officials of the Union Education Ministry and other concerned wings', he said.

"Based on EOU's FIR, the Enforcement Directorate may probe into the matter under several sections of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The central agency is expected to identify proceeds of crime and initiate proceedings to attach properties belonging to the accused or suspects," said another source of the Economic Offences Unit.

Commenting on the development, Abhayanand, former director general of police (DGP), Bihar, told PTI: "There is no doubt that grave offences have been committed in the NEET-UG 2024 exam. Prima facie, it appears that the paper was leaked Evidence collected so far is also suggestive of the paper leak. The case must be probed under the provisions of the PMLA as black money is involved in it."

The arrested accused in the case are providing conflicting statements or changing their statements during interrogation, an EOU source said.

"Officials are contemplating conducting brain mapping and narco-analysis tests. These scientific tests may provide certain fresh leads to investigators," the source said.

A narco-analysis test involves intravenous administration of a drug that causes the subject to enter into a stage of anaesthesia, during which the person becomes less inhibited and is more likely to divulge information, which would usually not be revealed in the conscious state.

Brain mapping uses neuroscience to determine whether a person has specific knowledge related to a crime. This is done by measuring EEG signals in the brain.

Brain mapping and narco-analysis tests are illegal without the subject's consent.

The EOU has also started investigating the role of some more private professional colleges in Bihar who allegedly sent solvers on behalf of real candidates in the NEET exam.

It is suspected that solvers of private colleges/institutes were allowed to appear on behalf of real candidates in connivance with officials of the examination centres, where the exam was held on May 5, a source said.

It is also suspected that officials were bribed so that an undeserving candidate could sit strategically next to a brilliant dummy candidate who was also paid money.

Search operations were conducted to nab a few suspects in Nalanda district, sources said.

The EOU, which is probing the alleged NEET-UG paper leak case, last month arrested 13 people as part of its investigation into the alleged paper leak in the NEET-UG 2024 exam.

The arrested accused included Sikandar Yadavendu, the prime suspect who is a junior engineer at the Danapur Municipal Council, aspirants and their parents.


6 held from Jharkhand's Deoghar

The Bihar Police detained six people from Jharkhand's Deoghar district in connection with the alleged irregularities in NEET, an official said on Saturday.

They were detained from a house near All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Deoghar in Devipur police station area on Friday night, he said.

"The Bihar Police gave us a tip-off. On our identification, they were taken into custody. All the suspects have been taken to Bihar," SDPO (Deoghar Sadar) Ritvik Srivastava told PTI.

The suspects were allegedly living at the house of one Jhunu Singh, he said.

They were identified as Paramjit Singh alias Bittu, Chintu alias Baldev Kumar, Kaju alias Prashant Kumar, Ajit Kumar, Rajiv Kumar alias Karu, all residents of Nalanda district of Bihar, and Panku Kumar, according to a statement issued by the Deoghar Police.

An investigating team from Bihar also visited Hazaribag on Friday evening in connection to the case, police said.

Hazaribag Sub-divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Kumar Sibhashish said that an investigating team from Bihar arrived in Hazaribag but they did not share any details.

He said that they visited Lohsinghna police station and interacted with the officer in-charge there. The team did not arrest anyone from Hazaribag during its visit.

Lohsinghna police station in-charge Sandeep Kumar said that the team discussed the paper leak issue and was in search of a courier in the case.

On Hazaribag's reported connection with the alleged paper leak issue, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Nancy Sahay said, "We have not received any information on the district level. However if anything has happened, we will definitely contribute to solving the issue."

The team of Bihar Police also conducted an investigation at an office of a courier service in Ranchi under Sadar police station area, sources said.

Sadar police station in-charge Kuldeep Kumar, however, said that they have not been officially communicated in this regard.

A source in Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit (EOU) said, "Six people have been detained in Jharkhand's Deoghar in connection with the case. Whether to declare them arrested or not would be decided on the basis of evidence and leads found from them."

"We will verify every suspect as per due process of law and then take a final call. We can seek clarification from any suspect as part of our investigation," he added.

Meanwhile, Jharkhand Rashtriya Janata Dal has postponed its scheduled protest over the NEET paper-leak' issue in Ranchi on Saturday.

State RJD general secretary and media in-charge Kailash Yadav said that the women's cell of the party was scheduled to burn an effigy of the union education minister in Deoghar in protest against the paper-leak issue.

"We have postponed it, as we have decided to organize the protest on a large scale," he added.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Utkarsh Mishra© Copyright 2024 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.