News Brief

68 Questions From Burnt Remains Match NEET-UG Paper, Leaked From Jharkhand: Bihar EOU Report, Case Handed Over To CBI

Bhuvan Krishna

Jun 24, 2024, 10:18 AM | Updated 10:29 AM IST

Bihar EOU office
Bihar EOU office

The Bihar government has informed the Centre that its investigation strongly indicates a leak in the NEET-UG exam paper, as per a report by The Indian Express.

The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar reportedly found 68 questions out of approximately 200, recovered from the burnt remnants of a photocopy, matching the original paper provided by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

The EOU's report, sent to the Education Ministry also revealed that the unique exam centre code on the burnt scraps matched Oasis School, a CBSE-affiliated private school and NTA's designated exam centre in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand.

Based on this report, the Education Ministry has handed the investigation over to the CBI. The evidence supporting Bihar's claim includes not only the 68 matching questions but also their identical serial numbers on both the burnt scraps and the original paper.

The EOU is now working to trace the paper leak, with the NTA recently providing the chain of custody for the question paper. This includes examining seizures from Oasis School, where one envelope containing question papers was found to be cut open incorrectly, suggesting tampering.

Oasis School principal, Ehsanhul Haque however has stated that the paper might have been leaked before reaching the school.

He noted that CCTV footage showed the school's centre superintendent and the NTA-appointed observer receiving the packet on the morning of the exam day. The packet was opened in front of students by multiple people, including invigilators.

All arrested suspects have admitted that four examinees, who were among those arrested, memorised answers from the leaked paper the day before the exam. These examinees scored 581, 483, 300, and 185 marks out of 720. The EOU believes another 30 candidates may have benefited from the leak.

The Jharkhand Police first alerted the Bihar Police about a potential NEET-UG paper leak on 4 May. Despite initial difficulties in locating the suspects, by the afternoon of 5 May, specific leads led to the arrest of several suspects in Rajbanshi Nagar. Three police teams were mobilised, resulting in multiple arrests and the discovery of a burnt question paper.

The arrests were made public on 7 May, with all suspects placed in judicial custody under charges of criminal breach of trust and criminal conspiracy.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.

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