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NEET-UG row: Paper reportedly leaked in Jharkhand, a professor sent it to “mastermind” Sanjeev Mukhiya on WhatsApp, read details

This group spent several months in planning the scam and Mukhiya obtained the question paper via WhatsApp from a professor. Afterwards, the paper was solved with the aid of Patna and Ranchi medical students.

Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit (EOU) is probing the NEET-UG paper leak case which was held on 5th May this year. During this time, they received information that some students had already received the question paper and they memorised the answers. When the cops reached the spot where the applicants memorised the answers, they found a burnt question paper and recovered booklet number 636488 from there. According to sources, the booklet belonged to an exam centre in Hazaribagh. It is believed that the paper was leaked from Jharkhand.

The 53-year-old technical assistant at a government institution in Nalanda, Sanjeev Mukhiya, is the focus of the investigation of the Bihar Economic Offences Unit (EOU). Officials believe he is one of the masterminds behind the paper leak. According to Bihar police investigators, he is the leader of a gang that operates in several states to profit from rigging competitive exams. The Uttarakhand Police had previously apprehended him in 2016. His son Shiv Kumar was also arrested in one such case and is currently being held at the Beur jail in Ujjain due to suspicions of leaking the Bihar Public Service Commission Teacher Recruitment Examination in April 2024.

This group spent several months in planning the scam and Mukhiya obtained the question paper via WhatsApp from a professor. Afterwards, the paper was solved with the aid of Patna and Ranchi medical students. On the morning of 5th May, the paper was sent to Chintu alias Baldev’s mobile along with the solution. The investigating agency has also received information about the professor who sent the message.

At Chintu’s request, Pintu from Hilsa took a printout of the paper and at 9 AM, distributed it among twenty to twenty-five candidates who were staying at the now-closed Learn and Play School and Boys Hostel in remote Khemnichak to memorize the same.

A student named Abhishek was taken into custody by the police from the testing centre on 5th May. The same day his father Awadhesh, who lives in Ranchi, was also arrested. Sikandar P Yadvendu (56), a junior engineer at the municipal committee of Danapur, has also been nabbed in connection with the paper leak case. The investigation has pinpointed him as the prime suspect in the dissemination of NEET question papers. He worked as a contractor in Ranchi before 2012 and Awadhesh was his clerk. Afterwards, the latter did land business in Ranchi and acquired property worth crores in just 12 years. Awadhesh is reportedly Sikandar’s investor.

Sikandar is from a farmer’s family with agricultural roots in Samastipur and was a small-time contractor until 2012. He holds a diploma in engineering and has a background as a contractor spanning fifteen years. His professional trajectory took a turn in 2012 when he secured a junior engineer position with the water resources department. He has also amassed property in Ranchi valued at crores. He has a home and an apartment in Ranchi’s Jagatpuram. He set up a sports showroom for his son on Ranchi’s bypass route about three months ago. His daughter has completed MBBS.

The police have also learned that Awadhesh invested Sikandar’s illegal earnings in land business in Ranchi. The investigating agency will also file a case of disproportionate assets against the latter. Awadhesh was also shot and injured in Ranchi in 2023 in a dispute over land business.

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 and stated, “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.”

Sinha added, “The word ‘Mantri’ was used for Tejashwi Yadav. Sikandar Yadvendu is a close relative of Tejashwi Yadav’s PS Pritam Kumar. 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.”

Bihar EOU has sent a notice to Nalanda police asking them to arrest Sanjeev Mukhiya. Nalanda police raided his house on 21st June but he was found absconding. His family members were also questioned in the matter. He is the only accused named in the FIR who is yet to be arrested. On 4th June, he applied for anticipatory bail before a Patna district and sessions court, which postponed the hearing until 4th July. According to a police official, they were looking for him at different places based on tips. The official added, “We are hopeful of catching him over the next few days. We are keeping a tab on him.”

The police are also searching for other accused including Rocky alias Rakesh Ranjan, Chintu alias Baldev, Pintu, and Ashutosh concerning the paper leak.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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