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CBSE city coordinator Ehsanul Haq, chairman Shabir Ahmed, and Sanjeev Mukhiya: Read how the NEET scam is linked to Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh

It is alleged that Sanjeev Mukhiya’s gang accommodated nearly 25 candidates at a boys' hostel who had stayed at the Learn Play School in Patna on 4th May, a day before the NEET exam.

The investigation into alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG examination and paper leaks in certain ‘isolated incidents’ has revealed that an exam center in Jharkhand, along with an organized education mafia reportedly operated by a man named Sanjeev Mukhiya, masterminded the scheme. 

According to reports citing EOU sources, the paper leak mafia from Bihar exploited the examination centers in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh as weak links. It is also believed that the racket accused of leaking the BPSC exam paper is involved in roping potential NEET aspirants, paper setters, and officials from educational institutions in Jharkhand for rigging the competitive exam.

According to EOU sources, Hazaribagh’s Oasis School was involved in the NEET paper leak where a question paper was found tampered with. The tampering evidence was submitted in a report to the Union Education Ministry. This report contained complete information about the investigation progress till June 21. The report mentions the evidence and facts as well as the confessional statements of the accused. This prompted the Ministry to involve the National Testing Agency (NTA) and hand over the matter to the CBI for further investigation.

The EOU said that this is the work of an organised interstate racket operating out of Bihar. 

Additionally, on Sunday, the Bihar police said that the question papers were received by the accused at the now-closed Learn Play School that was used as a “safe house” by the accused. 

According to police, the accused, Chintu, who was arrested from Devghat was also present at the playschool when the question papers were received. 

Police stated that he got the solved question papers on the mobile phone. They added that Chintu received the solved question paper on his mobile phone on the morning of 5th May, the day of the examination, and took printouts of it via a WiFi printer. The students were made to memorise the question paper, they added. 

The Bihar police asserted that it was well-planned as a drop-off point was made 2 km from the playschool and the students were brought to the playschool in taxi cabs.

The Police noted that the question paper received by the accused came from Oasis Play School in Hazaribagh. There is evidence of tampering in the packaging of the question paper, they added. Click here, to read details about the events that transpired around the exam day and how, the accused got the exam paper through WhatsApp.  

As per reports, the investigation has raised questions on the role of the school’s management as the EOU has identified the involvement of Oasis school as suspicious in the paper leak case. According to EOU sources, NEET-UG paper booklet number 6136488 was leaked from Oasis School, Hazaribagh. Additionally, EOU also found evidence of tampering in the booklet box.

(As per the investigation findings reported in media, Sanjeev Mukhiya gang accommodated around 25 candidates at Learn Play School, where they were given exam paper and its solution, a day before the NEET exam, Image Source – Insider Live)

Shabbir Ahmed is the Chairman of the said school in question, Oasis School from where the paper is suspected to have leaked. Ehsanul Haque is the principal of this school. He also serves as the city coordinator of CBSE. Because of his position as city coordinator of CBSE, he oversees all centres in four districts in Jharkhand – Hazaribagh, Chatra, Koderma and Ramgarh – where NTA conducts exams. 

It is pertinent to note that earlier on 15th March, this year, the paper for the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) teacher recruitment exam was also leaked from Hazaribagh. 

The modus operandi in that case involved relocating about 268 candidates, to various locations in Hazaribagh. Around 113 candidates were from Bihar’s Nalanda district, which is incidentally the native place of alleged mastermind, Sanjeev Mukhiya. 

In safe houses in Hazaribagh, the candidates were coached on the questions and answers the night before the exam. However, a Joint team comprising Jharkhand and Bihar Police apprehended candidates and individuals associated with the paper leak syndicate.

Investigation points out to the involvement of Sanjeev Mukhiya gang

The investigation so far has pointed out that the infamous Sanjeev Mukhiya gang could be involved in the NEET paper leak case. Sanjeev Mukhiya’s son, Dr Shiv, is already behind bars for involvement in the BPSC teacher recruitment exam paper leak. According to EOU sources, Sanjeev Mukhiya’s network uses Hazaribagh as a safe zone to operate across the Bihar border. 

(Connection of key accused with each other, Image Credit – News18)

Sanjeev Mukhiya’s network

Currently, Bihar Police is actively pursuing Sanjeev Kumar, aka Sanjeev Mukhiya or Lutan, in connection with the NEET paper leak case. He is said to be the only prime accused absconding in this case. He is a resident of Shahpur Balwa village in Nalanda. 

Notably, he has been implicated in several exam paper leak incidents since 2010. Initially associated with Bihar’s biggest education mafia Ranjit Don, he later established his own criminal network. It is alleged that Sanjeev Mukhiya and his associates were recently involved in leaking the BPSC exam paper. 

His son, Dr. Shiv Kumar alias Bittu, was arrested in connection with the BPSC paper leak and is currently in custody. Sanjeev Mukhiya’s paper leak network is reportedly based in Nalanda, Bihar, with operations extending nationwide. In 2020, Sanjeev Mukhiya’s wife, Mamta Devi, contested elections on the Lok Jan Shakti Party ticket and has previously served as a Mukhiya.

On 21st April, Dr. Shiv Mukhiya was apprehended in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, along with four accomplices in connection with the NEET paper leak case. Previously, his name had surfaced in another NEET paper leak case reported at a police station in Patna back in 2017.

(Links between the arrested accused and mastermind of alleged NEET paper leak case in Bihar , Sanjeev Mukhiya, Image Source – Aaj Tak)

It is alleged that Sanjeev Mukhiya’s gang accommodated nearly 25 candidates at a boys’ hostel who had stayed at the Learn Play School in Patna on 4th May, a day before the NEET exam. Reportedly, the candidates were provided with the leaked question paper and answer sheets at the same hostel. The EOU has alerted police teams in Nalanda, Gaya, and Nawada districts in Bihar, and has printed pamphlets to trace him and arrest him.

Bihar Deputy CM and BJP leader accused Personal Secretary of Tejashwi Yadav to be part of the paper leak

Meanwhile Bihar’s Deputy Chief Minister Vijay Sinha has accused former Deputy Chief Minister Tejashwi Yadav’s personal secretary and Bihar Administrative Service officer Pritam Kumar for the leak. 

He said, “On May 1, Tejashwi Yadav’s personal secretary Pritam Kumar called guesthouse worker Pradip Kumar to book a room for Sikander Kumar Yadvendu. On May 4, Pritam Kumar called Pradip Kumar again to book the room. The word ‘Mantri’ was used for Tejashwi Yadav. Sikandar Yadvendu is a close relative of Tejashwi Yadav’s PS Pritam Kumar.” 

He added, “An NHAI guest house was booked for Sikandar’s sister Reena Yadav and son Anurag Yadav on May 4. A phone number and ‘Mantri Ji’ were mentioned in the NHAI guest house’s diary. The investigating agency is trying to identify this Mantri Ji.”

Latest development in the NEET-UG allegation probe case

Meanwhile, on Monday (24th June), a CBI team from Delhi reached the office of the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police in Patna in connection with its investigation into the allegations of irregularities in the medical entrance exam NEET-UG, officials said. They added that the EOU, which had been investigating the matter until the Centre ordered a probe by the CBI, has arrested 18 people in connection with the case. 

The CBI officers are collecting evidence related to the case from the EOU. An EOU officer said, “The evidence collected by the EOU during the course of investigation include pieces of the burnt question paper recovered from a house in Patna, mobile phones of those arrested, SIM cards, laptops, post-dated cheques and reference questions papers provided by the National Testing Agency (NTA).” 

He added, “All those arrested are in judicial custody in Patna, and the CBI team may take them to Delhi for detailed interrogation by obtaining transit remand from a court here.” 

A day earlier, the CBI filed a criminal case for irregularities in the exam and formed special teams to probe the matter. As per the agency’s FIR, certain “isolated incidents” occurred in a few states during the conduct of the NEET (UG) 2024 examination, which was held on May 5, 2024. In a shocking development in the case, a CBI team was allegedly attacked by locals in Bihar’s Nawada after which four persons were arrested by police on a complaint from the central agency. The incident occurred on Saturday evening when a team of CBI had gone to Kasiadeeh village in the area.

Nonetheless, as per reports, the CBI is also likely to file multiple FIRs to probe the destruction of evidence, and also register disproportionate assets (DA) cases against some of those accused who are public servants. 

CBI may probe other criminal antecedants of another prime suspect, Sikander Prasad Yadvendu

An officer stated that Yadvendu, a resident of Samastipur, has also been identified as the prime suspect in the case. He said, “A DA case may be registered against arrested accused Sikander Prasad Yadvendu, a junior engineer in Danapur Town Council, as he reportedly acquired huge assets that are disproportionate to his known source of income.” 

The officer added, “He has a history of involvement in criminal activities. Before becoming a junior engineer in 2012, he worked as a contractor in Ranchi. He was previously implicated in an LED scam worth Rs 3 crore. He has served a jail sentence for his role in that case.”

Meanwhile, the EOU is actively searching for 10 postgraduate doctors from the Patna-Ranchi Medical College, who allegedly assisted in solving the NEET question paper. 

This follows the detention of six additional individuals, including the prime suspect Chintu from Deoghar, Jharkhand. They were apprehended from a residence near AIIMS-Deoghar in the Devipur police station area on Friday night. Among those arrested were Chintu alias Baldeo Kumar, Paramjit Singh alias Bittu, Panku Kumar, Kaju alias Prashant Kumar, Ajit Kumar, and Rajiv Kumar alias Karu. Notably, the apprehended suspects Pintu and Chintu are said to be part of the network controlled by kingpin Sanjeev Mukhiya.

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Paurush Gupta
Paurush Gupta
Proud Bhartiya, Hindu, Karma believer. Accidental Journalist who loves to read and write. Keen observer of National Politics and Geopolitics. Cinephile.

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