Godhra: A CBI team arrived in Godhra city, located in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district, on Monday to investigate alleged irregularities in the NEET-UG medical entrance exam conducted on May 5, news agency PTI quoted officials as saying. According to authorities, the Godhra police registered a case on May 8 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, cheating, and criminal breach of trust. The case alleges attempts to assist 27 candidates in passing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) by charging them Rs 10 lakh each.

Himanshu Solanki, Superintendent of Police in Panchmahal, stated that the CBI team had arrived in Godhra and held meetings with local police officers. “We are fully supporting their investigation,” he added.

On Sunday, the CBI filed a fresh FIR against unidentified individuals under IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating), among others. This move came amidst nationwide protests and legal actions by students demanding an investigation into allegations of paper leaks.

In a significant development, Gujarat’s home department issued a notification on Sunday transferring cases related to the NEET-UG paper leaks, previously handled by state police, to the CBI. This decision facilitates the central agency taking over the investigation.

The NEET-UG exam, administered by the National Testing Agency (NTA), determines admission to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other medical courses in government and private institutions nationwide.

To date, Gujarat police have arrested five individuals, including a school principal and teacher from Godhra, in connection with the alleged NEET-UG exam irregularities.

The malpractice was uncovered at a Godhra school designated as an exam center for the NEET-UG, following a tip-off received by the district collector, as per the FIR filed on May 9.

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The arrested persons are Tushar Bhatt, school principal Parshottam Sharma, Vadodara-based education consultant Parsuram Roy, his aide Vibhor Anand and alleged middleman Arif Vohra, SP Solanki earlier said.

As per the FIR registered at Godhra taluka police station on a complaint of the district education officer, Rs 7 lakh cash was recovered from Bhatt, who was working as a teacher at Jay Jalaram School and was appointed the deputy centre superintendent for NEET in the city.

Out of 27 students who had either paid in advance or agreed to pay money to Roy and others, only three were able to clear the exam, according to sources.

The accused told the candidates to solve questions they knew and leave the others blank, which would be filled when papers are collected after the exam, as per the FIR. 

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