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‘Didn’t expect tip-off to open NEET Pandora’s box’: Mystery call on ‘safe house’ led Bihar cops to crack NEET leak case | Patna News


PATNA: An anonymous whistleblower’s seemingly vague tip-off to Patna police about “four suspected criminals in an SUV headed to a safe house” around three hours before NEET-UG got under way on May 5 was the starting point for the unravelling of a suspected nationwide network of fraud that has plunged the medical entrance test into controversy, and lakhs of aspirants into uncertainty.
A team from Patna’s Shastri Nagar police station promptly intercepted the four suspects, who then led them to what turned out to be a meeting place for around 30 NEET-UG candidates who had allegedly paid Rs 30-50 lakh for leaked questions and answers. The group had apparently assembled at the designated location in Ram Krishna Nagar, on the city’s outskirts, the previous day to memorise answers, police said.
Sleuths say they have since gathered dozens of names of medical aspirants and their “handlers”. “It’s a deep-rooted network spread across states. We will need time to rein in all the culprits,” a top source in Economic Offences Unit said.

The quartet arrested in Patna had been tasked with helping students memorise answers through the night and dropping them at their designated exam centres. “The tip-off turned out to be precise – just that we didn’t expect it would lead to a Pandora’s box linked to NEET-UG. We worked hard on the case and pieced together each clue. The results are there for all to see, although there is still a long way to go,” said Amar Kumar, SHO of Shastri Nagar police station.
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During the raid that followed the first arrests in the case, police found 13 roll numbers in the safe house. Within an hour, multiple teams fanned out to NEET exam centres. Four aspirants were picked up and, after interrogating them, cops got nine more names, including that of Sikandar Yadavendu, a junior engineer in Danapur municipal council.
Yadavendu allegedly supplied the question papers and answers to aspirants on May 4 to memorise. On May 6, police recovered burnt question papers from Yadavendu’s flat. The next day, 13 people, including parents of some aspirants, were rounded up. On May 11, the case was handed over to EOU. Manavjit Singh Dhillon, DIG of the unit, was deputed to lead the probe.
Suspicions about a paper leak deepened after one of the arrested students, a 19-year-old from Danapur, Yadavendu’s nephew, confessed that he had received the same set of questions a day before the test and they were identical to those he had answered at the exam centre. “He said the deal had been struck for a hefty price ranging from Rs 30-40 lakh for confirmed admission. Since then, we have held coaching institute owners, teachers, and some students who were allegedly involved in the racket,” a source said.
Yadavendu and two others allegedly behind the paper leak – Nitish Kumar and Amit Anand – confessed to the leak.
The student had stayed at an NHAI guest house arranged by his uncle for a few days before moving to the safe house, police said. Amit and Nitish received the question papers on their WhatsApp on May 4, a day before the exam, from a NEET exam centre in Hazaribagh.
“Photocopies of the question papers were given to the candidates and they were told to memorise the answers. The duplicate question papers were collected later in the morning and burnt,” one official said.
A 22-year-old candidate who scored 185 out of 720 marks overall achieved 85.8 percentile in physics, 51% in biology and 5% in chemistry. He told police that he received the questions a day prior to the test, but couldn’t devote enough time to memorise the chemistry answers.
Police have seized incriminating documents, electronic devices, and a significant amount of cash during the raids.

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