THE Special Investigation Team probing the toppers’ scam in Bihar is all set to crack down on owners of schools and inter-colleges offering plus-two courses, who “managed” to get affiliation from the Bihar School Examination Board (BSEB) despite non-compliance of norms, according to Patna SSP Manu Maharaj, who heads the SIT.
Police are waiting for the board to complete its inspection of 196 such private institutions that were granted affiliation in the last two years during the tenure of Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh as BSEB chief, Maharaj told The Indian Express.
Reacting to the publication in The Indian Express of a series of investigative reports on such schools across eight
districts, the SSP said, “The findings are very revealing and will help in the police investigation. We are bringing the owners of such institutions under the purview of our investigation as the scam is expanding with each passing day with new revelations.”
Asked about the findings of the police investigation, Maharaj said, “The arrests of 28 people so far have provided enough reasons for investigators to probe district education officers and BSEB committee members, who approved such non-functioning schools.”
He alleged that such affiliation was granted “reportedly on monetary consideration or at the insistence of the then board chief Lalkeshwar Prasad Singh who, along with his wife (and former MLA) Usha Sinha and son-in-law Vivek Kumar, had been involved in the scam”.
“Vivek Kumar is on the run. It is becoming a pan-Bihar scam as our investigation progresses. The list of suspects is so long that we are taking time to file chargesheets,” said the SSP.
Apart from Singh and Sinha, police have also arrested Amit Kumar alias Bachha Rai, the alleged kingpin of the scam and owner of Vishun Rai (VR) College in Vaishali, which produced three toppers among the 13 this year, all of whose results were later cancelled.
Meanwhile, the state BJP is ready to target the government in the Bihar assembly and legislative council over the scam.
“We have been demanding a high-level probe into this well-entrenched scam, preferably by an independent agency. The scam has exposed the Nitish Kumar government’s higher education system,” said BJP legislature party leader Sushil Kumar Modi.