Telangana: The police have so far made four arrests in the case of paper leak EAMCET-2 scam. It is alleged that each student has made a payment of anywhere between Rs 10-30 lakh, making it a multi-crore scam-worth Rs 100 crore.
How the scam unfolded
NDTV has revealed details about the paper leak according to a police investigation. It has been stated that just couple of days before the scheduled exam, there were over 70 students, who caught a flight from Telangana to reach multiple destinations. They took a flight to Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kanigiri in Andhra Pradesh in multiple batches. Their alleged purpose was to take the question papers of EAMCET-2 along with the answers, for medical seats in AP and Telangana. These students are reported to have been given a very high score after they appeared for the exam.
Student Akhileshwar Reddy said he too was contacted by agents. “They said I should pay 25 lakh rupees and they would take me to a secret location where I would get the question paper, along with the answers, before I sat for the exam,” he told NDTV.
The police got the first alert by G. Ravi a civil engineer from Warangal. Ravi observed that some of his daughter’s classmates got much higher scores than his daughter. His daughter in the past has been a consistent good performer, better than her classmates.
“I found out that these students had gone missing about five to six days before the exam. And then whoever had gone missing got surprisingly high marks,” said Mr Ravi, 47.
A Bengaluru-based man named Rajgopal Reddy has been arrested in this case. It is alleged that he had said to the police that there was also a paper leak in EAMCET-1. More arrests are expected to be made. The question paper is alleged to be leaked from a printing press in Delhi.
TOI reported that the alleged racketeers approached the involved students in the coaching centres. Reddy also approached corporate colleges and education consultants in the city to find their contact numbers.
The touts also got in touch with a woman consultant, who in turn, informed the senior intelligence officers. She revealed the facts of the modus operandi, along with how the touts gave her the offer.
More than 20,000 students from Andhra region took the Telangana Eamcet-II paper. A student leader in addition implied that a minimum of 200 students in the first 1000 ranks in the T-Eamcet are likely from Andhra region. A coaching institute established in Penamaluru area is alleged to be involved in the racket of supplying clients to the racketeers.
There were many students from affluent backgrounds, who failed to secure a seat under A-category in AP EAMCET, then decided to appear for Telangana EAMCET-2. These are the candidates which the touts targeted as they were not confident enough to crack NEET through management quota seats also. They were an easy prey for the touts.
Protests from all corners
Before taking a final call on the matter, the state government had to face the wrath of the students, parents and the PDSU, taking the blame for the EAMCET-2 question paper leak.
PDSU State general secretary KS Pradeep demanded that the genuine rank holders be given justice. Pradeep said the Telangana students were forced to write the medical entrance test twice due to the failure of the government. He alleged that Rajgopal Reddy collected Rs 30 to Rs 50 lakh from parents of a few students and leaked the Eamcet-2 question paper with the help of Delhi-based printing press workers. Pradeep also alleged that EAMCET-1 has been leaked and a detailed enquiry into the matter be taken up.
Meanwhile, many students were arrested by the police, protesting over the issue in different parts of the city. The students unions were also seen demanding resignation of Deputy Chief Minister and Education minister Kadiam Srihari and Health Minister Laxma Reddy, holding them responsible for the scam.
Protests were held at Secretariat, Indira Park dharna chowk, ministers’ quarters, JNTU, OU and other parts across the State. Some students staged a dharna in front of the accused house as well.
Further course of action
Health minister Kamineni Srinivas said to the Express that counselling for filling undergraduate seats in medical colleges in the state will be held from August 6 to 8.
“Web counselling for filling medical seats with the EAMCET rankers will be held from August 6 to 8. All qualified candidates can participate in the counselling,” Srinivas said, while addressing mediapersons, here.
According to him, for filling PG medical seats, the government would conduct counselling three times, henceforth.
The rankers will now be required to submit their original certificates in the medical colleges they plan to join. Besides, a sum of Rs 2 lakh also has to be deposited along. The minister implied that every student will need to give his/her option during the second phase of counseling. They will necessarily need to secure admission with the options shared in the second phase of counseling. Else, they will lose the money deposit and also, the medical seat.
The CM has given instructions to investigating officials for registering cases against parents who are allegedly bought medical seats for their children.
The CID officials informed the Chief Minister that all the accused in the case would be arrested in the next 48 hours.
The Crime Investigation Department police has so far arrested mediator Shaik Ramesh alias Raheem from Boduppal. It has also made a recovery of an amount of Rs 37.5 lakh from him.
The arrest of Shaik Ramesh (52) follows the arrest of Thirumal Rao and Vishnudhar on Thursday. Ramesh, a native of Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh, has mediated with the parents of 14 students to pay about Rs 12.5 lakh to give the Eamcet II paper to their wards.
“This broker (Ramesh) contacted 14 students from various places in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to pay money in order to leak the exam paper. As the students’ parents accepted, Ramesh took the students to Pune camp, where they were given practice with leaked TS Eamcet-II-2016 (medical) question papers,” said CID Additional DG Satyanarain.
The CID chief said, “So far Ramesh collected Rs 1.73 crore from parents of 14 students. He paid Rs 1.2 crore of this money to another broker, who took students to the camp for practice. Ramesh also deposited Rs 15 lakh in the bank account of one of his friends.”