Tamil Nadu

NEET scam: sleuths seek UIDAI assistance to track down suspects

CB-CID shares photos, biometric data for verification with Aadhaar database

The Crime Branch-CID of the Tamil Nadu police has written to the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), seeking its assistance to track down those suspected of having acted as proxies in the sensational NEET scam.

Investigators have shared the photographs and biometrics of at least a dozen suspects with the UIDAI authorities for verification with the national Aadhaar database.

The suspects, booked on the charges of criminal conspiracy, cheating, forgery and impersonation, were hired as proxies by candidates from Tamil Nadu to write the test on their behalf in different centres across the country.

The scam first surfaced in the Theni Medical College in Tamil Nadu, where the first case of a candidate clearing NEET with the help of a proxy who took the test on his behalf in north India was exposed. After the case was transferred to the CB-CID, more such cases were detected, and the agency had arrested 15 persons, including seven medicos and six parents. An investigation is on to apprehend the proxies who were hired to write the examination for these candidates at centres in other States.

Since the proxies are suspected to be undergraduate or postgraduate medicos, the agency has written to the Board of Governors of the National Medical Commission, requesting that the photographs of the suspects be shared with all medical colleges in the country for identification.

“We have written to the Director-General of Health Services to verify data in deemed universities. The details of proxies have also been shared with the Directors of Medical Education (DME) of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Rajasthan for posting the photographs of suspects on the notice boards in all medical colleges,” Superintendent of Police C. Vijaya Kumar told The Hindu on Wednesday.

Social media

After Director-General of Police M.S. Jaffar Sait held a review meeting with senior officials on the progress made in the case, investigators decided to write to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, seeking their assistance in identifying the suspects. “Since a majority of youth, particularly students, are active on social media, it is possible to identify the suspects if their photographs are shared with the administrators of such platforms,” he said.

Mr. Vijaya Kumar said the photographs/fingerprints of the proxies will not match with any records maintained by the National or State Crime Records Bureaux since they were not habitual offenders. “It has been almost three months since we wrote to the Central and State health authorities. Special teams are closely coordinating with these officials, and a breakthrough is expected soon. The possibility of a similar scam in NEET in other parts of the country cannot be ruled out,” he said. The CB-CID, which is currently focusing on the NEET scam in MBBS admissions, will soon start probing allegations of similar irregularities in postgraduate admissions, sources in the agency said.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 9:51:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/neet-scam-sleuths-seek-uidai-assistance-to-track-down-suspects/article30804795.ece

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