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JEE candidate in Assam who got 99.8 percentile arrested along with father for using proxy

Assam Police has written to the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, seeking CCTV footage from the examination centre in Borjhar, Guwahati, for analysis and investigation.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: October 30, 2020 8:53:36 am
IIT, iit entrance, jee main, jee advanced 2020, jee advanced 2021, education news, engineering entrance exams, college admissionsAssam Police has written to the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam. (Express Photo by Praveen Khanna/ Representational)

A candidate who had got 99.8 percentile in the JEE (Main) examination held last month has been arrested by Assam Police, along with his father and three others involved in conducting the examination, for allegedly using a proxy candidate to take the exam, top police officers said on Thursday.

Guwahati Commissioner of Police Munna Prasad Gupta told The Indian Express, “The candidate, Neel Nakshatra Das, his father Dr Jyotirmoy Das, two persons who are employed with the TCS which was conducting the exam— Hemendra Nath Sarma and Pranjal Kalita – and Hirukamal Pathak, who was invigilator of the centre, have been arrested (on Wednesday evening).”

Dr Das is a gynaecologist at a reputed hospital in Guwahati. His wife is an anaesthesiologist at another hospital in the city.

Assam Police has written to the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exam, seeking CCTV footage from the examination centre in Borjhar, Guwahati, for analysis and investigation.

The police, Gupta said, is looking for the person who was the proxy candidate. Asked about the suspected modus operandi, he said, “As far as we know, the candidate (Das) gave his biometrics at the centre and was then allowed to leave.”

The incident came to light after audio recording of a conversation, purportedly between Das and a friend, was leaked on social media. Das, although wrongly reported by certain sections of media, is not the JEE (Main) topper from Assam — the topper is another candidate with a 99.9 percentile score.

“I did not take the exam; the exam was taken on my behalf,” Das purportedly says in the audio clip. “I was taken out of the exam centre after giving my biometrics…someone else took the exam, from somewhere else.”

The FIR was registered by one Mitradev Sharma, a Guwahati resident, on October 23 at the city’s Azara police station on the basis of the audio clip. The FIR has 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).

Sharma 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 curios 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.” He said, “The boy is innocent — it is the parents who thought they could buy the results.”

Additional DCP (West), Guwahati, Suprotiv Lal Baruah, said the audio clip is authentic and the candidate himself has confessed to the scam. He said Dr Das allegedly spent more than Rs 15 lakh to execute the fraud.

The staff at the centre, Baruah said, allegedly “facilitated movement of the candidate — this candidate went out and the other person came in.”

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