Cong Alleges BJP Hand In NEET-UG ‘Scam’ After Police Affidavit In Godhra Court  

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Cong Alleges BJP Hand In NEET-UG ‘Scam’ After Police Affidavit In Godhra Court  

| Updated: June 29, 2024 20:27

Congress Rajya Sabha MP and Gujarat Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil, on Saturday, alleged that an affidavit filed by the Deputy Superintendent of Police in the Sessions Court of Godhra has brought to light a massive scam involving the NEET UG 2024 examination. 

“The government has claimed in the Supreme Court that the paper was not leaked, and their ministers have said that ‘sab changa si’ (all is well). However, the DySP in the sessions court in Godhra admitted that crores of rupees were recovered during the investigation, along with several blank cheques provided by the parents of students who attended the examination centre,” said Gohil while addressing a press meet. 

He added, according to the affidavit, large sums of money were taken in advance from students in Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Bihar with blank cheques. These students travelled to Godhra to take the NEET UG 2024 exam, having already made special arrangements.  

“Money and blank cheques were taken from those students in advance. They were also told to write the name of ‘Jai Jalaram School’ Gujarati Medium for the centre while filling the NEET application. The setting was that when the students get admission, money will be filled in the blank cheques,” Gohil added. 

The CBI currently investigating the NEET UG paper leak case, has registered six FIRs in connection with the scam. The investigation has already led to the arrest of two individuals in Patna, with more suspects being questioned.It is currently conducting searches at seven locations in Gujarat across four districts of Anand, Kheda, Ahmedabad, and Godhra.  

Gohil further alleged that the vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Minority Wing Arif Vahora was involved in the scam alongside the chairman of the Jai Jalaram Education Trust, who is reportedly a close aide of the BJP. 

Gohil alleged the students were asked to choose their preferred exam centre – Jai Jalaram School, Gujarati Medium – and Rs 10 lakh was paid in advance, and blank cheques were collected because the amount varied depending on the college to which the student would get admission. 

“Police have recovered a list of the roll numbers of students involved in the scam, with roll numbers marked in brown and red to identify those whose money has been received,” he added. 

Gohil further claimed that students were instructed to fill in only the answers they were certain of, and after the exams, someone else would complete the remaining answers on their OMR sheets before sealing them. 

The main accused, Tushar Bhat, who served as the deputy superintendent of the examination centre at Jay Jalaram Education Trust and also worked there as a professor, was named in the scam. Another accused is Purshottam Mahavir Prasad, city coordinator for NEET in Godhra district and the principal of the same examination centre. These two were responsible for sealing the answer sheets. 

Five people, including the school principal of Jalaram School in Godhra, were arrested for allegedly trying to help students clear the examination, earlier this month. 

Three others arrested in connection with the scam were Parshuram Bindnath, Binod Anand, and Arif Vahora, who were responsible for meeting with parents and collecting money and blank cheques. Crores of rupees and blank cheques were recovered in a raid on their premises. Vahora is the vice president of the BJP’s Minority Wing. 

Gohil further alleged that they sealed the answer sheets in boxes but later opened the seals, marked the answers, and then resealed them at a restaurant, with CCTV footage as evidence. 

The Congress leader criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stating, “Karodo se kam khatani, sach bolne walon ko chain ki roti khanedeta nahi’’ (They don’t take less than crores (of rupees), and they don’t let them live peacefully those who speak the truth), while showcasing a banner featuring Modi and Vahora. 

He further questioned the BJP asking, “Why did the government lie to the Supreme Court? Why did Modi and his Twitter remain silent on the NEET issue? Why was Jay Jalaram Education Trust, previously fined and under suspicion, allotted the examination centre? Why is the chairman not yet arrested?” 

Gohil alleged the trust wasessentially a family trust, pointing out that the chairman’s close ties to PM Modi and former Union minister Smriti Irani might be the reason for his continued freedom.

He stated, “This is the true picture of the BJP. Despite having all the information and proof, including CCTV footage of the answer sheets being tampered with at a restaurant, the government lied to the Supreme Court.” 

The Congress MP further alleged that the Trust was also given the Centre for Gujarat Common Entrance Test (GUJCET), for admission to undergraduate courses in engineering, pharmacy, and other professional courses offered by various colleges and universities in Gujarat. He demanded that the BJP disclose how much money the Trust has given officially and unofficially to the party’s treasury. 

According to the Congress party, the scam was planned by the above-mentioned five (arrested) individuals at two centres run by the same trust. Information was given to the collector on June 8, and a team led by the district education officer concluded that a scam was ongoing. A first information report was filed, and after investigation, the Godhra DySP submitted the affidavit to the sessions court, which forms the basis of these allegations.  

During the press conference, Gohil displayed old photos showing various senior BJP leaders, including Irani, other former chief ministers and cabinet ministers of Gujarat, and PM Modi too, posing with the chairman of the Jalaram Trust on various occasions. 

He also alleged that the government allowed the school to admit 450 students into  standard 11, despite a maximum limit of 60 students. The school was fined Rs35,65,000 for charging more than the standard fee. The Education Trust admitted their mistake in writing and agreed to pay the fine.  

Gohil alleged that the scam occurred at centres under the Jai Jalaram Education Trust – Pravadi, Godhra and Padal Thermal and questioned why a fraudulent school, inaugurated by Smriti Irani in 2016, was allotted as an examination centre.  

BJP has not responded to the allegations yet. 

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