NEET-UG Row: Key Mastermind Arrested in Patna

New Delhi: The CBI made a significant breakthrough on Thursday in the NEET-UG paper leak case by arresting Rakesh Ranjan, one of the alleged masterminds who had been evading arrest since the investigation into exam irregularities commenced.

Rakesh Ranjan, also known as Rockey, a native of Nalanda believed to be a close relative of the main accused Sanjeev Mukhia, was caught by the CBI on the outskirts of Patna. Following his arrest, he was presented before a special court in Patna where the agency secured a 10-day remand in CBI custody, according to officials familiar with the case.
Sources within the CBI revealed that Ranjan had been under surveillance ever since the investigation was taken over by the agency. His attempted escape to Nepal was foiled early Thursday morning when CBI officials apprehended him.
In conjunction with Ranjan's arrest, the CBI conducted simultaneous raids at three locations in Patna and its outskirts, as well as one in Kolkata. These operations were part of the agency's efforts to gather crucial evidence related to the NEET-UG paper leak case.
Earlier this week, the CBI had conducted extensive searches at 15 locations across Bihar and Jharkhand, during which substantial incriminating materials were seized, bolstering the agency's investigation.
Previously, the CBI had arrested the principal and vice principal of Oasis school in Hazaribagh, Jharkhand, along with two individuals accused of providing facilities to NEET candidates where tampered question papers were discovered by the Bihar Police.
The CBI's probe into the NEET-UG exam has resulted in the registration of six FIRs so far. These include cases related to paper leaks in Bihar, and instances of impersonation and cheating in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra. The agency's own FIR, initiated on a directive from the Union education ministry, aims to conduct a comprehensive investigation into all alleged irregularities surrounding the examination.
NEET-UG, managed by the National Testing Agency, serves as the entrance exam for admissions to MBBS, BDS, AYUSH, and other medical courses across government and private institutions in India. This year, the exam was held on May 5 at 4,750 centres in 571 cities, including 14 locations abroad, attracting participation from over 23 lakh candidates.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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