Patna: A CBI team from Delhi arrived at the office of the Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of the Bihar Police in Patna on Monday morning to investigate allegations of irregularities in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying. The EOU, which had been handling the investigation until the Centre ordered a CBI probe, has arrested 18 individuals in connection with the case, they added.

“The CBI officers are collecting evidence related to the case from the EOU,” an official said.

On Sunday, the CBI filed an FIR in connection with alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG exam, held on May 5, following a reference from the Education Ministry. This move came amid countrywide protests and litigations by students.

“The evidence collected by the EOU during the investigation includes pieces of the burnt question paper recovered from a house in Patna, mobile phones of the arrested individuals, SIM cards, laptops, post-dated cheques, and reference question papers provided by the National Testing Agency (NTA),” an EOU officer stated.

“All those arrested are in judicial custody in Patna, and the CBI team may take them to Delhi for detailed interrogation by obtaining transit remand from a court here,” he said.

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The CBI is also likely to file multiple FIRs in connection with the matter to probe the destruction of evidence, and also register disproportionate assets (DA) cases against some of those accused who are public servants, he said.

“A DA case may be registered against arrested accused Sikander Prasad Yadvendu, a junior engineer in Danapur Town Council, as he reportedly acquired huge assets that are disproportionate to his known source of income,” the officer said.

Yadvendu, originally from Samastipur, has been identified as the prime suspect in the case, he said.

“He has a history of involvement in criminal activities. Before becoming a junior engineer in 2012, he worked as a contractor in Ranchi. He was previously implicated in an LED scam worth Rs 3 crore. He has served a jail sentence for his role in that case,” the officer said. 

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