CBI arrests Jharkhand school principal, vice principal in NEET-UG paper leak case

The CBI had arrested two people on Thursday from Patna, who had allegedly made arrangements for accommodation for NEET-UG examinees on May 4
Protest against NTA by medical aspirants.
Protest against NTA by medical aspirants.Photo | PTI

NEW DELHI: Taking forward its investigation into the NEET-UG paper leak case, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday succeeded in establishing the origin of the leak, arresting the principal and vice principal of a school in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, officials said.

The officials identified the two arrested persons as Ehsanul Haque and Imtiaz Alam, the principal and vice principal of Oasis School, respectively.

Ehsanul Haque was made the city coordinator of Hazaribagh for the medical entrance exam conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on May 5, they said.

Vice Principal Imtiaz Alam was designated as the NTA's observer and the centre coordinator at the Oasis School, officials said, adding the CBI is also questioning five more people from the district in connection with the paper leak case.

The federal probe agency arrested Haque and Alam after detailed questioning, they said.

Both the accused came under scanner during a probe by the Bihar Police's Economic Offences Unit (EOU) which was investigating the case earlier.

Protest against NTA by medical aspirants.
NEET-UG Row: NTA in the eye of a storm

The officials said that during their investigation, the EOU sleuths found that the serial code on the burnt remains of a leaked question paper in Bihar matched with the Oasis School examination centre in Hazaribagh.

The officials took with them the two aluminium boxes containing the question papers, they added.

The officials said the EOU, in its findings shared with the CBI, claimed that the “leaked” NEET-UG question paper was allegedly obtained from Oasis School in Hazaribagh by the notorious Sanjeev Kumar alias Lutan Mukhiya gang from Bihar.

In its report, the officials said, the EOU had matched a partially burnt question paper found in the Patna safe house with the reference question paper provided by the NTA, confirming the leak’s origin. However, it could not clearly establish who was behind the alleged paper leak, they added.

According to them, the probe also revealed that the laid down guidelines for opening the question paper boxes were not properly followed by the authorities in Hazaribagh.

However, reports indicated that Haque informed that the box carrying the question papers could not be opened because its digital lock, which was supposed to unlock automatically, had malfunctioned. He reportedly claimed that due to the malfunction, he contacted the NTA, which asked him to use a cutter to open the box.

The boxes carrying question papers have two locks - a manual one that must be opened with a key and a digital lock that opens with a beep sound 45 minutes before the examination.

Following a reference from the Union Ministry of Education, the CBI registered six FIRs in the leak case, which included its own FIR and five taken over from the states. The probe agency has taken over one case each in Bihar and Gujarat and three cases in Rajasthan.

Protest against NTA by medical aspirants.
CBI makes first arrests in paper leak case from Patna; two held in Patna

On Thursday, the CBI made its first arrests in the paper leak case by taking two people into custody in Patna. Meanwhile, three candidates in Gujarat, who had allegedly solicited help to clear the examination, recorded their statements with the probe agency, the officials said.

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