Bihar EOU team visits NEET-UG exam centres in Hazaribag, to handover case to CBI - Hindustan Times
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Bihar EOU team visits NEET-UG exam centres in Hazaribag, to handover case to CBI

Jun 23, 2024 08:24 PM IST

The five accused, who were arreste on Saturday in the NEET-UG paper leak case, were brought to Shastrinagar police station, Patna, on Sunday, and sent to hospital for medical examination

A three-member probe team of the economic offences unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police on Sunday visited various schools in Hazaribag which served as exam centres for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Under Graduate (NEET-UG 2024), and inquired from the centre in-charge about the conduct of the test and the mechanism to open digital locks of question paper boxes.

The Bihar EOU has so far nabbed 19 persons from different locations in connection with the NEET-UG exam question paper leak case. (Representative Image)
The Bihar EOU has so far nabbed 19 persons from different locations in connection with the NEET-UG exam question paper leak case. (Representative Image)

Although the EOU officials refused to divulge anything regarding the inquiry into question paper leak in course of transportation, one of the centres’ in-charges, wishing anonymity, said that he was asked how digital locks, which malfunctioned, were open.

“Principal of Oasis School, Hazaribag, is said to have told the EOU officials that the digital locks were cracked after getting consent of senior officials authorised by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in full security. The lock was not opening with the code provided,” said an EOU officer, who did not want to be quoted.

According to Hazaribag district administration, the EOU team also visited Ram Krishna Vivekanand school. However, the school management refused to say anything about the inquiry. “The NTA had conducted NEET-UG exam at five centres in Hazaribag, which also included DAV School, St Xavier’s and Holy Cross school. A total of 840 students appeared in the examination at DAV School this year,” said a schoolteacher.

Talking to media persons later, sub-divisional police officer, Hazaribag Sadar, Kumar Shivashish said that the EOU team, comprising three officials, left for Ranchi after visiting three-four locations and questioning key persons at the examination centres.

Five accused brought to Patna

Meanwhile, five accused, who were arrested from a house near Deoghar AIIMS on Saturday in the NEET-UG paper leak case, were brought to Shastrinagar police station, Patna, on Sunday, and sent to hospital for medical examination.

The arrested persons were identified as Panku Kumar, Parmjeet Singh alias Bittu, Chintu alias Baldeo Kumar, Ajeet Kumar and Rajeev Kumar, the EOU said in a press statement. “All of them will be sent to Beur jail after completing formalities,” said the EOU officer.

EOU obtains NEET reference paper

Meanwhile, the EOU received NEET-UG reference question papers to compare these with documents recovered during a search operation last month from a flat in Patna and to explore the possibility of conducting narco analysis and brain mapping tests of the accused in the case, officials familiar with the matter said.

The investigating agency had sought the reference papers a month ago from the NTA to proceed with the case. However, the EOU got it after its team briefed about the progress in the question paper leak case with senior officials of the Union education ministry and other related wings in Delhi on Saturday, an official said.

Eighteen persons arrested

With five more persons, the EOU has so far nabbed 19 persons from different locations in connection with the question paper leak case. “We are trying to carry out brain mapping and narco-analysis tests of certain accused. These scientific tests may provide certain fresh leads to investigators,” said an official, adding that 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.

Case being handed over to CBI

In a press statement issued by the EOU, the case pertaining to the NEET-UG question paper leak case is being handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for further investigation. The EOU took over the case on May 17 and had raided a boys’ hostel in Srikrishna Nagar to arrest two key conspirators in the case. Baldeo Kumar alias Chintu, who was arrested from Deoghar, is a member of the professional gang of Sanjiv Kumar alias Lutan Mukhia. The Mukhia gang is notorious for getting the question papers of competitive exams out.

The EOU said that its sleuths found evidence of the attempts to tamper with the question paper boxes at Oasis School. Its team also questioned the staff at the local State Bank of India (SBI) branch, where the question papers were kept in the locker and recorded statement of officials of Blue Dart courier company, which shipped the question papers.

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