AFTER A month-long investigation, a 34-year-old engineering graduate, who appeared as a proxy on behalf of a JEE (Main) candidate in Guwahati in September and scored 99.8 percentile, was arrested by Assam Police in Delhi, officers said.
Pradip Kumar, a graduate from Delhi College of Engineering, was arrested Saturday from the Ber Sarai area of southwest Delhi.
“Based on our investigation, we found out who the proxy candidate was and came to Delhi to nab him. A Patiala court granted transit remand and we brought him to Guwahati on Sunday evening,” Additional DCP (West), Guwahati, Suprotiv Lal Baruah, told The Indian Express.
Baruah is heading the investigation and led the police team to Delhi. Kumar, who hails from Jharkhand, is said to have been working as a teacher at a coaching institute in Delhi.
“We have confirmed through flight details and hotel check-in that Kumar had come to Guwahati on September 4, took the exam on September 5 and left,” M P Gupta, Commissioner of Police, Guwahati, told The Indian Express.
Delhi Police DCP (South-West), Ingit Pratap Singh, said that a special investigation team of Assam Police approached them on Saturday. “We provided them assistance for arresting a man who was wanted in their case,” he said.
The candidate, Neel Nakshatra Das, his father Dr Jyotirmoy Das, two persons associated with the company conducting the exam for a seat in the premier IITs and the invigilator of the centre at Borjhar in Guwahati were arrested in October.
Dr Das is a gynaecologist at a reputed hospital in Guwahati. His wife is an anaesthesiologist at another hospital in the city.
Early in November, police arrested Bhargav Deka, the owner of a Guwahati-based coaching centre, where Das took classes. Deka had contacted Kumar to fly down to Guwahati to take the exam on behalf of Das, the police investigation has revealed.
According to police, Das submitted his biometric details at the exam centre and was allowed to leave, following which Kumar took the exam on his behalf.
“The candidate’s father had paid approximately Rs 20 lakh for this. As per what we know till now, Kumar must have got around Rs 6 lakh, but the exact amounts involved will be known after further confirmation,” Guwahati Police Commissioner Gupta said.
The alleged fraud had come to light after an audio recording of a conversation, purportedly between Das and a friend, was leaked on social media in October following which a Guwahati resident filed an FIR.
“I did not take the exam, the exam was taken on my behalf…I was taken out of the exam centre after giving my biometrics …someone else took the exam, from somewhere else,” Das is purportedly heard saying in the audio clip.
The FIR invoked IPC Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 419 (cheating by personation), 420 (cheating), and 406 (criminal breach of trust), along with Section 66D of IT Act (cheating by personation using computer resource).
The complainant, Mitradev Sharma, had earlier told The Indian Express: “Others who underwent coaching with Das for the entrance exam knew he was not good in academics. So when he got such high marks, they got curious and one friend called him and recorded the conversation. When it came to my knowledge, I thought this should be brought to the notice of police.”
(With ENS in Delhi)
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