Tamil Nadu

Scam surfaces in 2018 NEET; medico held

Youth engaged a proxy to write the exam in Hindi at Gaya

The Crime Branch CID of the Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday arrested a second-year medico on the charge of fraudulently securing admission in the Madras Medical College (MMC) by paying ₹20 lakh to a broker.

The suspect engaged a proxy to write the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) held at Gaya in Bihar in 2018 to get the seat.

Acting on a complaint lodged by the MMC Dean suspecting foul play in the admission of D. Dhanush Kumar, 20, a special team of the CB-CID called for documents from CBSE, which conducted the test that year, and found that the student had engaged a proxy writer. His father K. Devendra had paid ₹20 lakh to facilitate the fraud.

Investigation revealed that Kumar joined a coaching centre in Bengaluru to prepare for NEET. He was approached by a broker who promised to get him seat by arranging the proxy. After paying an advance of ₹3 lakh, he followed the instructions on how to fill the application and other formalities.

Hindi medium

Kumar, a native of Hosur in Tamil Nadu, opted for Gaya as the examination centre and also chose to write the examination in Hindi. He “cleared” NEET with a good score and got into MMC, which is usually the first choice of toppers in the State.

“His score in Plus-Two was very poor. Had the staff/invigilators at the examination centre verified the photograph in the hall ticket and the person who appeared for the examination, the fraud could have been detected on the spot. Kumar is said to have failed in some subjects in first year MBBS,” a CB-CID official told The Hindu.

Manhunt on

After ensuring that he got a good score in NEET, Kumar and his father paid the balance of ₹17 lakh to the broker.

“Efforts are on to apprehend the broker who is a native of Bengaluru. There seems to be no link between Rashid, the prime suspect in the 2019 NEET scam, and the suspects in the 2018 NEET scam.

Kumar is not able to confirm whether like him more students engaged proxy writers but the modus operandi points to a suspicion that more students would have been involved in the scam,” the official said.

When investigators questioned Kumar about his ability to write NEET in Hindi, the suspect, who initially refused to cooperate, later confessed that he had no knowledge of Hindi and opted the centre and language going by the instructions of the broker. Kumar and his father were arrested and remanded to judicial custody. Police were trying to locate the proxy writer in Gaya.

The CB-CID is already investigating a scam in the 2019 NEET, conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), in which 16 persons, including 7 medicos, were arrested on charges of impersonation and cheating.

The police have written to the National Medical Commission, Director-General of Health Services, Unique Identification Authority of India and others to zero-in on the proxy writers who appeared for the accused persons in different centres.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:21:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/scam-surfaces-in-2018-neet-medico-held/article30926690.ece

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