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Malpractice in NEET exam at Gujarat centre; FIR against teacher, 2 others; Rs 7 lakh seized

According to the FIR, as per an understanding reached between the accused and some NEET aspirants, the latter were asked to leave blank questions whose answers they did not know, which were to be written once the papers were collected after the exam.

Screenshot 2024 05 10 085526GODHRA: A criminal case has been registered against a schoolteacher in Godhra in Gujarat’s Panchmahal district and two others for their alleged involvement in trying to help six candidates appearing for the NEET-UG competitive exam by promising to solve their papers for a sum of Rs 10 lakh each, police said on Thursday.

The racket was unearthed at a Godhra school designated as a centre for the NEET-UG exam held on Sunday for entrance to medical colleges after the district collector received a tip-off that some persons were involved in malpractice, according to an FIR.

A physics teacher identified as Tushar Bhatt, who was the deputy superintendent of exam at the centre, was booked along with two others — Parsuram Roy and Arif Vora.

Rs 7 lakh in cash was recovered from Bhatt’s car which was paid to him by Vora as an advance to help a candidate get into the merit list, said the police.

As per an understanding reached between the accused and some NEET-UG (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) aspirants, the latter were asked to leave blank questions whose answers they did not know.

The answers of these questions were to be written once the papers were collected after the exam, they said, quoting the FIR.

As per the FIR lodged at the Godhra taluka police station on a complaint of the district education officer, Bhatt was working as a teacher at Jay Jalaram School and appointed the deputy centre superintendent for NEET in the city.

A team of district additional collector and district education officer reached the school on the day of the examination and questioned Bhatt.

When they checked his mobile phone, they recovered a list of 16 candidates with their names, roll numbers and exam centres which was sent to his WhatsApp number by co-accused Roy, stated the FIR.

When asked about the list, Bhatt said these were candidates who were to take the NEET exam at his centre.

He confessed to having been promised Rs 10 lakh each to solve the question papers of six of these candidates, District Education Officer Kirit Patel said.

One of the aspirants had paid Rs 7 lakh in advance which was seized by authorities.

The investigating team seized the teacher’s mobile phone, cash and the car from where the cash was recovered and submitted a report to the district collector, who later ordered registration of an FIR.

“The FIR was lodged last night (Wednesday) and further action was being taken,” Patel said.

As per the FIR, the accused said the candidates who promised to pay money were instructed to solve the questions that they knew and leave others blank so that they could be filled with answers when papers were collected from them after the exam.

The three accused were booked for criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy, a Godhra taluka police station official said.

Further investigation in the case was underway, said the official.

The NEET (UG) is an all India entrance test for students who wish to pursue undergraduate medical (MBBS), dental (BDS) and AYUSH (BAMS, BUMS, BHMS) courses in government and private institutions in India.

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