NEET-UG paper leak case: CBI makes first arrests in Bihar

New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has made its first arrests in the NEET-UG paper leak case in Bihar, detaining two individuals from Patna, identified as Manish Kumar and Ashutosh.

According to CBI sources, Manish Kumar facilitated the transportation of students in his car and is suspected of providing the use of an empty school where at least two dozen students were given the leaked paper and memorised it, while Ashutosh provided lodging for the students at his residence.

The two men had been called by the agency for questioning on Thursday and they were arrested after that.

The CBI has registered six First Information Reports (FIRs) in the NEET paper leak case with the first being on Sunday, a day after the Ministry of Education announced that the investigation would be handed over to the central agency.

Before the CBI arrests, the police had also taken some people into custody in Bihar, Maharashtra and Delhi. These included an aspirant who said he and a few others had got a copy of the question paper a day before the exam.

Nearly 24 lakh students had appeared for the NEET-UG 2024 for undergraduate medical courses, which is conducted by the National Testing Agency, on May 5. The results were announced on June 4, 10 days before schedule, but allegations of question paper leaks and grace marks to over 1,500 students triggered protests. Cases were also filed in courts, including the Supreme Court, which has rapped the NTA.

The issue has also snowballed into a massive political controversy and it found mention in President Droupadi Murmu’s address to a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on Thursday. The President said the government is “committed to a fair investigation” and gave an assurance that the culprits would get strict punishment.

“The recent irregularities and paper leaks are being dealt with strongly and the government’s focus is on improving the exam process,” she said.

The comments caused an uproar from the opposition benches. The INDIA bloc, which has 232 Lok Sabha MPs now, is gearing up to corner the government on the matter in Parliament during the ongoing session. (NDTV)


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