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Bihar Police Send Notices to 9 Aspirants Accused of Cheating in NEET-UG: Report

Seven of the nine aspirants, accused of having received the exam's question paper and answers in a ‘safe house’ near Patna a day before it was conducted, are from Bihar while the others are from UP and Maharashtra, the Times of India cited a police official as saying.
Representative image. Photo: X/@noidapolice

New Delhi: Police in Bihar served notices yesterday (June 15) to nine NEET-UG aspirants, including those living outside the state, asking them to join its investigation into allegations that the exam’s paper was leaked, the Times of India reported.

Seven of the nine aspirants who were served notices are from Bihar, while one is from Uttar Pradesh and the other is from Maharashtra, the Times cited Manavjit Singh Dhillon, deputy inspector general of the Bihar police’s economic offences unit (EOU), as saying.

They are, along with four other aspirants from Bihar who have already been arrested, accused of having received the exam’s question paper and answers in a ‘safe house’ near Patna a day before it was conducted on May 5, the Times reported.

Almost 24 lakh aspirants wrote the highly competitive NEET-UG exam on May 5 for admission into medical colleges, but it has been marred by accusations of paper leaks and by irregularities in the conduct of the test.

The latter has prompted the government to announce an optional re-test for a select group of candidates.

Soon after the exam was held last month, the Bihar EOU took over the investigation into allegations of paper leaks from a special team of the Patna police. The state police announced on May 10 that 13 people, including four aspirants, had been arrested in the case.

N.H. Khan, additional director general of police in the EOU, told the Indian Express yesterday that the police’s investigation was “very much suggestive of a paper leak”.

Dhillon told the Times that the four aspirants already arrested had “confessed” to receiving the exam’s question paper and answers in the ‘safe house’ near Patna. Another investigator that said all four had passed the exam.

It is alleged that organised criminals facilitated the paper leak and that the four aspirants’ parents paid between Rs 30 lakh and Rs 50 lakh each for access to the question papers.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat police arrested five people in connection with allegations of cheating at a NEET-UG exam centre in the state’s Godhra town, The Hindu reported.

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan said earlier this week that there was “no scope for any malpractice or irregularities” in the conduct of the NEET-UG exam, but that if allegations were proved “no one will be spared”.

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