The Economic Offences Unit (EOU) of Bihar Police has recovered post-dated cheques suspected to have been issued in favour of a mafia which had demanded over 30 lakh from each candidate seeking the alleged leaked question paper ahead of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test- Undergraduate (NEET-UG) held last month, PTI reported, citing the police.

Students holding placards protest against the alleged irregularities in the NEET examination, at Shashtri Bhawan in New Delhi on Friday.(ANI)

Deputy Inspector General (EOU) Manavjit Singh Dhillon told the news agency that six such post-dated cheques have been recovered.

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“During the course of the investigation, EOU sleuths recovered six post-dated cheques that were issued in favour of criminals who reportedly facilitated question papers to the aspirants ahead of the examination,” Dhillon said.

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, according to PTI. All of the 13 accused belong to Bihar.

The police have issued notices to nine candidates – seven from Bihar and one each from UP and Maharashtra to join the probe.

The NEET-UG 2024 was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) at 4,750 centres in 571 cities for more than 24 lakh candidates. The result of the NEET-UG 2024 was declared on June 4.

However, as soon as the result was declared, students raised allegations of irregularities when 67 students topped the NEET exam this year, with claims of question paper leaks in Bihar.

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.

NEET-UG row: ‘Question paper received at a safe house in Patna’

According to a PTI report, it is suspected that nine aspirants, along with four other examinees from Bihar who have already been arrested by the EOU, allegedly received the exam’s question paper and answers at a ‘safe house’ near Patna a day before it was conducted on May 5.

During interrogation, the aspirants disclosed that their parents had paid more than 30 lakh for every candidate for the question papers.

“The evidence of the transaction has also been found and six post-dated cheques have also been recovered during investigation,” the DIG said, according to PTI. “The EOU sleuths also recovered partially burnt question papers from the safe house.”

He added: “We have sought reference question papers from the NTA. It has not responded to this so far. Once we get reference question papers from the NTA, we will send the burnt question paper to the appropriate forensic laboratory for its examination,” the DIG said.

Sources in the EOU further said that investigation has  revealed NEET-UG question papers and their answers were provided to around 35 aspirants before the exam.

The candidates, who belonged to different places in Bihar were brought to a rented accommodation at Ramkrishna Nagar in Patna, where they were provided with the question papers and answers.

The police have conducted a search at the rented premise and recovered mobile phones, admit cards and other incriminating documents, the sources said.

While the education ministry has dismissed the allegations of a paper leak in the NEET-UG 2024 exam and had said that the government would not tolerate malpractice and irregularities in the conduct of the exam, the Opposition has been demanding a Supreme Court-monitored probe in the matter.


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