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Over 100 Vyapam ‘solvers’ are from UP

Faizur Rahman, brother of Mohammad Haseeb, goes through documents of the Vyapam case, at his house in Nawabganj in Bareilly, U.P. Photo: Special Arrangement  

For Mohammad Haseeb, a grocer’s son, living in the village of Kifayatullah Richhola, located in the Nawabganj subdivision of Uttar Pradesh’s Bareilly district, getting through the Uttar Pradesh State Pre-Medical Test in 2013 was a huge achievement: the first in his family to make it, he got admission to the U.P. Rural Institute of Medical Sciences, a well-known medical college in Saifai.

But the happiness of Haseeb’s family — that lived off the income accruing from father Abdul Rahman’s small shop — was short-lived.

In September 2014, the 23-year-old medical student was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF), accused in the Madhya Pradesh Vyaysayik Pariksha Mandal (VYAPAM) entrance and recruitment exam scam.

Haseeb was arrested for allegedly being a “solver,” a candidate who had appeared on behalf of real candidates in the State medical exam conducted by VYAPAM in Bhopal in 2013 and 2014.

The lower middle class backward family was initially shocked, unable to understand how the multi-million rupee scam that rocked the M.P. government, hundreds of miles away, had come to trouble them in a village that can barely be located on the map.

The case started unravelling rapidly after the STF came looking for three more residents of Nawabganj named in the scam, Rupendra Arya, son of Arya Samaj leader Ram Kishore, who had completed his medical degree from Banaras Hindu University last year and was picked up on May 30, just two days ahead of his marriage, and Mohammad Afroz and Feroze — the last two sons of a vegetable seller.

After repeated unsuccessful efforts to crack the U.P. pre-medical tests, Mohammad Afroz became a ‘’solver.” He finally surrendered before the STF last month. Afroz’s younger brother Feroze was an intern after completing his medical studies from a government medical college in U.P.’s Jalaun district. But by the time the STF came looking for him, he had succeeded in getting a stay on his arrest from the Supreme Court.

85 arrested

All four young men were part of a well-entrenched network, successfully deployed as “solvers” by Vyapam middlemen. The U.P. STF officials, who coordinated with their M.P. counterparts in the probe, said almost half the “solvers” in the multi-million scam were from UP. Of the 250-plus solvers on the radar, the STF has arrested 85. The Central Bureau of investigation which has now taken over the investigation, is conducting raids in medical colleges and villages in Uttar Pradesh.

The STF sources said that when the CBI raided Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi Memorial Medical College (GSVMC) in Kanpur on August 21, 54 students, belonging to the 2009-2014 batches, were among the accused — six were arrested, eight have gone missing. The CBI is now raiding their homes.

The Hindu has learnt that even though Vyapam involved politicians, businessmen and officials, it would not have been possible to successfully pull it off without these “solvers”.

“Most solvers were either medical students or doctors. Some were unsuccessful candidates who could not crack the pre-medical test and later lost on the eligibility criteria because of the age factor but started teaching in coaching centres and became solvers,” an official said, adding that the Vyapam dragnet in U.P. is “much wider and deeper than meets the eye.”

Most of the accused teach at coaching centres in Rajasthan and U.P, especially those that guarantee admission to “weak” candidates in Madhya Pradesh’s medical colleges. U.P.’s “solvers” come from districts like Kanpur, Lucknow, Pilibhit, Bareilly, Etah, Etawah, Saharanpur, Jhansi, Lakhimpur Khiri, Bhadoi, Deoria. The middlemen offer “solvers” amounts ranging from Rs. 2-3 lakh for one exam.

The STF has arrested 55 students and other accused from U.P. — they include 40 students of different medical colleges in the State.

Vyapam scam: twists and turns

A look at the trail the Vyapam scam has left since 2007.



48
deaths

Noting that it will not allow even one more death, the Supreme Court transferred all criminal and death cases linked to the Vyapam scam to the Central Bureau of Investigation for a “fair and impartial” probe.

The Supreme Court has ordered a CBI probe into the multi-crore cash-for-jobs scam in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board that has resulted in unexplained deaths of key accused and witnesses.

A Trail of graft and gore

  • 1982: Vyaysayik Pareeksha Mandel (Vyapam) set up to conduct entrance examinations for pro-fessional courses
  • 2008: Recruitment tests for government Jobs also included
  • July 5, 2009: Widespread irregularities in recruitments come to light
  • 2009: Medical exam paper leaked; first complaint filed
  • December, 2009: Chief Minister forms panel to probe scam
  • Jul 7, 2013: Police register FIR, arrest 20 impersonators
  • Jul 16, 2013: Jag-dish Sagar, kingpin of scam, arrested
  • Aug 26, 2013: STF takes over probe, 55 FIRs registered
  • Oct 9, 2013: Admissions of 345 examinees cancelled
  • Dec 18,2013: Ex-Higher Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma booked
  • Jun 29, 2015: SIT says 23 people related to scam died due to 'Unnatural causes"; unofficial count puts figure at 46
  • July 7: Chouhan agrees to CBI probe

The Whistleblowers

Ashish Chaturvedi, 26-year-old social activist from Gwalior, claims CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan is a key player in the scam.

Prashant Pandey, cyber expert roped in by the STF, retrieved key Vyapam files.

Anand Rai, Indore-based RTI activist flied a PIL which led to the probe.

Vyapam scam

  • » The Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh dates back to 2007, with investigations in the case starting after some details came to light in 2013.

  • » It has been alleged by the Congress as well as several social activists that the officials took money to compromise the examination and recruitment.

  • » Editorials:

    >The Vyapam scam trail
  • >The tentacles of Vyapam

  • » CBI probe is just a start, says Digvijaya Singh in an

  • » Congress leaders openly accused MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his wife of being involved in the scam. Later, they submitted the "original evidence".

  • » Earlier this year, Chief Minister Chouhan claimed in a >letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi that the developments regarding the Vyapam scam provided proof of his honesty as he was the one who ordered a probe into it.

  • » > Here are five things you need to know about Vyapam Scam.

  • >

    SC transfers Vyapam investigation to CBI

    The whistleblowers are Ashish Chaturvedi, Dr Anand Rai and Prashant Pandey seeking an apex court-monitored CBI probe into the scam.

  • >

    Madhya Pradesh Governor may be on way out

    The indications came after Home Minister Rajnath Singh met President Pranab Mukherjee on June 09.

  • >

    MP lawyer Adarsh Munni Trivedi falls ill

    The chairman of MP HC Bar Association, who had in the past represented petitioners seeking a CBI probe in the scam, took ill and his family suspected an attempt at food poisoning.

  • >

    Medico Namrata Damor's death

    The police initially filed a case of murder, but while filing a closure report in 2014, termed it a suicide.

  • >

    Spate of deaths raises disturbing questions

    The Madhya Pradesh govt. rejected a demand for CBI probe.

  • >

    Another Vyapam scam accused dies in MP

    Narendra Singh Tomar died under mysterious circumstances in an Indore jail.

  • >

    Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav's involvement

    The Special Task Force probed the alleged involvement of Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. But later, the >FIR against him was quahed.

High-profile deaths

> Shailesh Yadav

He was found dead at his home in Lucknow in March. He was accused of taking money to help candidates from Bhind clear the exam for contractual teachers.

> D.K. Sakalley

He was the Dean of Jabalpur Medical College. He was also allegedly linked to the scam; he died of burns under suspicious circumstances.

> Akshay Singh

He worked for TV Today group, died soon after interviewing parents of a girl who was an accused and had herself died in suspicious circumstances.

> Arun Sharma

He was also the Dean of the Jabalpur-based College. He was probing fake examinees in the Scam. He was found dead in a hotel in Delhi.

>

For full coverage of Vyapam Scam click here




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Printable version | Jun 16, 2021 6:44:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/over-100-vyapam-solvers-are-from-up/article7572825.ece

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