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Maharashtra Police arrest four, including two teachers, in connection with the NEET paper leak scandal. The investigation reveals a racket selling exam information. A Special Investigation Team and CBI are probing the widespread issue, raising concerns about exam integrity.

In a significant breakthrough, the Maharashtra Police arrested four individuals, including two teachers from Latur, in connection with the alleged question paper leak of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) undergraduate medical entrance exam. The arrests were made following an investigation led by the Nanded Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

Arrests and Investigation

On Saturday, the ATS detained Sanjay Tukaram Jadhav and Jalil Umarkhan Pathan, both educators from Latur, under suspicion of being involved in the exam leak scam. Although initially questioned and released, Jadhav and Pathan were later re-arrested on Sunday, along with two additional suspects: Iranna Mashnaji Kongalwar from Dharashiv district and Gangadhar, a resident of Delhi.

An FIR has been registered against the four under the Public Examinations (Prevention of Unfair Means) Act, 2024. The FIR outlines allegations that the accused orchestrated a racket to sell exam information to students in exchange for money. The ATS uncovered incriminating evidence during raids at the suspects’ residences, including suspicious messages related to exam hall tickets and financial transactions on their phones.

Modus Operandi

According to police officials, the investigation suggests a complex network. Jadhav allegedly transmitted hall ticket details to Kongalwar, who then forwarded them to Gangadhar in Delhi, believed to be the mastermind behind the leak. The intricate operation points to a well-organized racket aimed at compromising the integrity of the NEET-UG exam.

Formation of Special Investigation Team

In response to the unfolding scandal, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by the Latur Deputy Commissioner of Police has been established to delve deeper into the case. The SIT aims to uncover the full extent of the operation and bring all involved parties to justice.

Wider Implications and National Probe

The NEET-UG exam, a crucial test for aspiring medical students in India, has been mired in controversy following allegations of a question paper leak and the contentious awarding of grace marks to over 1,500 students. These grace marks were subsequently revoked, and the affected students were offered a re-test, further fueling student protests and demands for transparency.

In light of the controversy, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken over the probe, filing an FIR based on a reference from the Union education ministry. Special CBI teams have been dispatched to Gujarat and Bihar, where similar cases of question paper leaks have been reported, indicating a potentially widespread issue.

As the investigation progresses, the NEET paper leak scandal continues to raise serious concerns about the integrity of the examination process. The arrests in Maharashtra mark a pivotal step in addressing these concerns, but the full scope of the scam remains to be seen. The involvement of the CBI underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a thorough and transparent investigation to restore faith in the examination system.

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