January 10, 2012

AIIMS examinees held while writing exams like Munnabhai

Cheating in entrance exams has become sadly commonplace, but this gang took technological sophistication to another level. First, two of them scanned the question paper - for the first All India Post Graduate Medical Entrance Examination being conducted by AIIMS - using mobile phones strapped to the wrist, concealed under their shirt sleeves.

The images were then transmitted to a control room and downloaded. The paper was solved, and the answers dictated to candidates who had bluetooth devices stitched near the collar and were wearing minute earphones to avoid detection.

The Crime Branch of Delhi Police has arrested five persons, including the main accused, identified as Mohit Chaudhry, a second-year MBBS student studying in Ujjain.

With the arrest of five persons, including a doctor and two MBA students, the Delhi Police on Monday claimed to have cracked an all-India post-graduate medical entrance racket at AIIMS.

The main accused, Mohit Chaudhry, is a second-year MBBS student studying in Ujjain. Others arrested include two MBA graduates identified as Krishan Pratap (a graduate of IIMT Meerut) and Kapil Kumar (a graduate of Jamia Millia Islamia University). They led the operations from their Greater Noida home, which served as their control room.

A computer programmer, identified as Bhishma Singh, who works for a private television channel, and one of the clients, Dr Amit Punia -- who completed his MBBS from PGI, Rohtak in 2011 -- have also been arrested. At least six other MBBS doctors who were appearing for the exam are under the scanner for allegedly paying the gang between Rs 30 lakh and 40 lakh each, claimed cops. The exam was being conducted by AIIMS this year under orders from the Supreme Court for admission into MD courses in government medical colleges across India.

"Our team nabbed the main accused, Mohit Chaudhry from Pragati Maidan after a tipoff. We had received inputs about the accused coming to the area in an Alto car. A trap was laid and we intercepted his car. A copy of the question paper along with several medical books was recovered from his possession. On his instance, other accused were nabbed from the examination centre - a school located in Noida. We are further investigating the case to ascertain more details and to find out at what level the gang was actually operating. Further arrests are likely," said Ashok Chand, DCP (Crime).

Explaining the modus operandi of the accused, Chand said that in the first step, two online application forms for the exam were filled in the name of Krishan and Kapil -- who never enrolled for any MBBS course - using fake registration numbers.

On Sunday, Krishan and Kapil, allegedly equipped with blue-tooth devices, entered the examination centre in sector 28 in Noida. They strapped their mobile phones to their wrists and wore coats with holes to allow the phone cameras to operate. According to the cops, the duo along with their client, Dr Punia, entered the examination hall evading all security checks. Sources claimed no physical examination of the examinees was carried out. The duo received the question paper and then used their mobile phone cameras to capture the images. Their mobiles had special software installed which automatically sent the photos in an email to a pre-decided user, cops said. The images were allegedly immediately transmitted to Bhishma, sitting at their 'control room' in Noida. Bhishma Singh allegedly received the images, downloaded them and took a print out of the question paper and handed it over to the main accused, Mohit, cops said. Mohit allegedly solved the papers using six medical books and with the help of some seniors and began to dictate the answers to his candidates. DCP Chand said Mohit had dictated just two answers to the 300 questions and was in the process of dictating more answers over the phone when he was nabbed from Pragati Maidan by constable Raja Ram, who had received a tip-off.

"He was interrogated during which he accepted his involvement and told the cops the names of his associates. Immediately, a team was sent to nab the rest of the accused. Cops nabbed Kapil and Krishan from the examination centre as they were preparing to flee from the centre and on their instance nabbed one of their clients, identified as Dr Amit Punia from there,'' said Chand. Sources though said Kapil and Krishan were the first to be nabbed along with Punia.

"We had information and the name of the accused. We set up an inspector as a dummy candidate who caught the three accused red handed from the examination centre,'' claimed the source.

Five high-end mobile phones, two minute earphones, six shirts with bluetooth devices stitched to them, one printer, one Maruti Alto and six medical books have also been seized. One of the teams was also sent to the controller of examination at AIIMS to have the papers tallied. He confirmed that the recovered question paper from the accused was a copy of the original. When contacted, Nand Kumar, dean, academics of AIIMS told cops they were ready to extend all cooperation for the probe but said cancellation of the examination immediately was out of the question.