News Brief

NEET Admit Cards From Bihar Found In Maharashtra, Police Suspects Larger Criminal Network Of 'Latur Gang'

Bhuvan Krishna

Jun 26, 2024, 04:31 PM | Updated 04:31 PM IST

Latur gang involved in NEET paper fraud.
Latur gang involved in NEET paper fraud.

The Maharashtra Police has recently uncovered a racket in the Latur district involving the NEET-UG examination, revealing over a dozen admit cards belonging to students who appeared to be from Bihar.

According to a report from the Business Standard, the authorities are investigating whether this gang, active in the Marathwada area, has connections to Bihar or is part of a larger criminal network.

A senior police officer has stated that numerous admit cards from Bihar were shared among the accused in WhatsApp conversations.

“It is suspected that these students could have travelled to centres in Maharashtra to take the NEET-UG. The admit cards of students from Maharashtra taking exams in Bihar centres have also been found. These chats are being studied to investigate the purpose and to unearth the modus operandi,” the officer said.

The investigation aims to determine whether the accused directed students to specific centres in either state that may have been compromised, where students might have received answers in exchange for money.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is currently handling the NEET-UG case. According to the same report, the investigation in Maharashtra has revealed that parents paid between Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh to the suspects to improve their children’s scores.

Acting on information from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, the Latur police registered a case against Sanjay Tukaram Jadhav, Jalil Khan Umar Khan Pathan, Eranna Mashnaji Konalwar, and Gangadhar Gunde.

The Latur gang employed various methods including impersonation, selecting exam centres where they or their associates were present, and providing correct answers to selected students during the last 30 minutes of the exam.

In some cases, they tampered with the optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets by having a staff member, such as a peon, take the answer sheet under the guise of a bathroom break, fill in the correct answers, and then scan the sheet. Another method involved leaking exam papers, the report said.

The investigation into the Maharashtra case has not yet shown any leads on leaked papers being shared. However, since the investigation is still in its early stages and the accused are not cooperating, it is ongoing.

Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.


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