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Who Is Yadavendu, The Key Man Linked To Bihar NEET Paper Leak Scam?

| Updated: June 22, 2024 12:49

Sikander P Yadavendu (56), the alleged mastermind of the NEET-UG paper leak in Bihar, comes from a farmer’s family and was working as a small-time contractor until 2012, until his name emerged in the scam.

Today, Yadavendu is, according to state police officers, a key accused in the case. He was arrested on May 5, hours after the exam was held, alongside 12 others, including four aspirants who took the paper.

Yadavendu, who lives in a rented flat in an apartment complex in Rupaspur area of Patna’s Danapur, has a diploma in engineering and worked as a contractor for a decade and a half.

His father was a farmer, and the family owns eight bighas of agricultural land in Samastipur. After clearing class 10 in the 1980s, he moved to Ranchi, where he studied until class 12, and got a diploma.

In 2012, when the NDA was in power in Bihar, he landed a job as a junior engineer with the water resources department. In 2016, Yadavendu was named in connection with a Rs 2.92 crore LED scam in the Rohtas Municipal Council, which he held additional charge of. The charges included buying LEDs at inflated rates to be installed in Dalmianagar. He was arrested and later released on bail.

In 2021, he is said to have used his connections to get transferred to the urban development and housing department, with a posting in the Danapur Municipal Council. Sources said he wielded influence there and would clear the layouts of upcoming apartments in the area.

“In 2023, he had a falling out with some seniors and was transferred to the water resources department, but he managed to get the transfer order reversed,” said a source in the Danapur Municipal Council.

The ruling BJP has alleged that Yadavendu was closely associated with Pritam Kumar, the personal assistant of former deputy CM and now state Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav. Tejashwi said Friday that the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar Police, which is probing the case, has made no such insinuation, and the BJP is trying to politicise the matter.

The four NEET aspirants who were arrested from an NHAI inspection bungalow near Patna airport on May 5 were caught after Yadavendu revealed their whereabouts to police. The room had been booked for Yadavendu a day earlier, after Pritam allegedly called a staffer there.

One of the four aspirants, a relative of Yadavendu, has told police that he had been assured by Yadavendu that the question paper would be made available before the exam.

Nitish Kumar, another key accused who police say is part of a ‘paper solver gang’, has told police that Yadavendu was the one who put the four aspirants in touch with the gang.

While the gang told Yadavendu it would cost Rs 30-32 lakh per student, he allegedly asked for Rs 40 lakh from each student, two of whom were his relatives. The four eventually got 581, 483, 300 and 185 marks out of 720.

“Yadavendu is the link to the inter-state gang. He and four gang members who have been arrested approached over two dozen students. We have identified nine more examinees and are questioning them. We are trying to reach the gang’s kingpins, who are also involved in alleged paper leaks in other exams conducted in Bihar,” said an officer.

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