Patna: The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police has recovered six post-dated cheques believed to have been issued to mafias, who demanded over Rs 30 lakh from each candidate for alleged leaked question papers ahead of last month’s NEET exam.

“During the course of the investigation, EOU sleuths recovered six post-dated cheques that were issued in the favour of criminals who reportedly facilitated question papers to the aspirants ahead of the examination,” Manavjit Singh Dhillon, Deputy Inspector General (DIG), EOU, told PTI on Sunday.

Investigators are ascertaining details about account holders from the banks concerned, he added.

The EOU has so far arrested 13 people, including four examinees and their family members, in connection with the alleged NEET-UG 2024 paper leak case. All accused belong to Bihar, said the DIG.

The EOU has also issued notices to nine candidates (seven from Bihar and one each from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra) to join the probe, he added.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) 2024, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), took place at 4,750 centers in 571 cities for over 24 lakh candidates. The results, declared on June 4, sparked uproar with many students alleging discrepancies. A group of candidates has approached the Supreme Court, demanding a fresh exam due to alleged paper leaks and concerns about the test’s integrity.

Sources suspect that nine aspirants, along with four other examinees from Bihar, who have already been arrested by the Economic Offences Unit (EOU), received the exam’s question paper and answers in a ‘safe house’ near Patna a day before the May 5 exam. During interrogation, the aspirants revealed that their parents paid over Rs 30 lakh per candidate to those who facilitated the leaked question papers.

Evidence of these transactions, including six post-dated cheques, has been recovered. The EOU also found partially burnt question papers at the safe house. “We have sought reference question papers from the NTA but have not yet received a response. Once we obtain them, we will send the burnt question papers to a forensic laboratory for examination,” the DIG said.

Also Read: NEET-UG 2024 Row — ‘If Big Officials Of NTA Found Guilty, They Won’t Be Spared’: Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan

The NEET-UG exam, conducted by the NTA, is for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other related courses in government and private institutions across India. EOU sources revealed that around 35 aspirants received the question papers and answers before the May 5 exam.

Candidates from various places in Bihar were brought to a rented accommodation in Ramkrishna Nagar, Patna, where they were provided with the leaked materials. Police recovered mobile phones, admit cards, and other incriminating documents from the premises.

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