NEET-UG exam 2024 case: CBI arrests private school owner from Godhra, 6th arrest in Gujrat so far

NEET-UG exam 2024 case: CBI arrests private school owner from Godhra, 6th arrest in Gujrat so far

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Sunday arrested Dixit Patel, owner of a private school in Gujarat’s Godhra, for alleged malpractices in the NEET-UG 2024 exam.

Patel was arrested in the early hours of Sunday from his residence in Panchmahal district, said public prosecutor Rakesh Thakor adding that adding that the central probe agency was taking him to Ahmedabad to seek his remand.

“As the case has been handed over to the CBI by the Gujarat government, a CBI team will produce him (Dixit Patel) before a designated court in Ahmedabad to acquire his remand,” PTI quoted public prosecutor Thakor as saying.

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Jay Jalaram School was one of the designated centres where the NEET-UG exam was held on May 5. It has been alleged that the school was the epicentre of alleged malpractices and fraud in connection with the exam.

Patel is the sixth person to be arrested in this case wherein the accused had allegedly demanded 10 lakh each from at least 27 candidates to help them clear the test.

The other five persons, who were arrested earlier by the Panchmahal police, include Vadodara-based education consultant Parshuram Roy, Jay Jalaram School principal Purushottam Sharma, school teacher Tushar Bhatt, and alleged middlemen Vibhor Anand and Arif Vohra.

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After taking over the probe a week back, the CBI had sought custody of four accused except Roy. On Saturday, the Godhra district court remanded Sharma, Bhatt, Anand, and Vohra to CBI’s custody till July 2.

A preliminary investigation by the CBI has uncovered that the accused persons had asked candidates willing to adopt illegal means to obtain high scores in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-Under Graduate) to opt for Jay Jalaram School as the exam centre.

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As per Gujarat Police, the accused persons allegedly asked the candidates not to attempt a question if they did not know the answer.

Prima facie, Bhatt, a physics teacher, filled the correct answers on the papers while they were still at the school premises post-exam.

The CBI on Saturday raided seven locations in Gujarat, further intensifying their probe into the alleged NEET malpractices. Statements from six candidates who allegedly paid bribes were recorded last week, linking them to the accused.

A case was registered by Godhra Police on May 8 against Bhatt, Roy, and Vohra for attempting to manipulate the NEET-UG process by extorting 10 lakh from 27 candidates each. Authorities, who were tipped off about potential malpractice, preemptively intervened at the school, averting irregularities.

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Bhatt, appointed as the exam’s deputy superintendent at the school centre, was apprehended before the test, and 7 lakh in cash was seized from him.

The investigation showed that Roy had allegedly convinced at least 27 of his students that he could help them clear the exam for 10 lakh. In a subsequent raid, cheques amounting to 2.30 crore were discovered in Roy’s office.

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