AIIMS student arrested in Delhi over NEET cheating scam | Latest News Delhi


A second-year student from All-India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, was allegedly part of an impersonation racket that involved getting medical students to take the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in place of original candidates by forging documents, police officers said on Tuesday.

Police suspect that the recent arrests are part of a bigger scam involving several such people and huge amounts of money. (Representational image)

Naresh Vishnoi was arrested on Monday, nearly two months after his involvement in the fraud was revealed when a second-year AIIMS student was nabbed from an examination centre in May.

While ongoing investigations prevented police from divulging more details about the two students, the modus operandi of the fraud is not new.

The strategy — forging Aadhaar and admit cards by replacing the original candidate’s photo with that of the person taking the test — matches closely with an interstate NEET racket busted last year.

This makes police suspect that the recent arrests are part of a bigger scam involving several such people and huge amounts of money.

“We are looking for at least two more suspects. I will comment on the case only once it is entirely cracked,” said Manoj C, deputy commissioner of police (south-west).

Officials at the premier medical institute said that they will take strict action against the accused. Dr Sanjeev Lalwani, registrar (academics), said, “We are taking this matter very seriously and have recommended action against these students.”

The fraud began unravelling two months ago when Sanju Yadav, a 22-year-old second-year student of B.Sc in radio diagnosis at AIIMS, Delhi was arrested on May 7 — the day of the NEET exam — after his biometrics did not match with that of the original candidate.

A call was made to the RK Puram police station by the principal of the school where the medical examination was held.

“The national testing agency reported that the biometrics of a candidate named Aman Kumar was not matching. The agency staffers tried to verify his biometrics repeatedly but failed, upon which the police were roped in,” said an officer aware of the matter.

The principal, in her statement, said that Kumar’s “biometric (was) not matching with the real candidate as per the name given in the attendance sheet and admit card”. The candidate was subsequently not allowed to leave the school premises until police arrived at the scene.

Yadav, a resident of Jaipur, was arrested and a case was registered for cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.

“Yadav’s interrogation revealed that he was roped in to take the test on behalf of Aman Kumar by his AIIMS classmate Vishnoi, who belongs to Jodhpur in Rajasthan. Vishnoi offered him 7 lakh to take the exam on behalf of another candidate,” said the police officer, adding that Yadav and Vishnoi were roommates in a South Extension neighbourhood.

Yadav allegedly replaced Kumar’s photo with his own on Aadhaar and exam admit cards and signed as Aman Kumar wherever needed, said police.

When police scanned Yadav’s phone, the device allegedly contained WhatsApp chats related to the impersonation, a copy of the original admit card, and Vishnoi’s phone number.

“The probe so far has suggested that the kingpin of the racket was Vishnoi who absconded soon after learning of Yadav’s arrest. A non-bailable warrant was issued against him,” said the officer.

Vishnoi was finally caught at AIIMS on Monday afternoon when he visited the institute to appear for a supplementary exam. He was sent to a two-day police remand even as investigators are trying to nab two other suspects, whose identities the police did not divulge citing hindrance to the ongoing investigation in the case.

According to police, the money offered to the dummy impersonators ranged between 6-7 lakh, with 1 lakh as advance payment. Police were checking Vishnoi’s bank transactions, officers said.

In July last year, the Central Bureau of Investigation, after multiple raids in Delhi and Haryana, arrested eight people who allegedly impersonated real candidates to help them in the NEET examination. In 2021, CBI busted a similar racket during a NEET exam in which a consultancy from Nagpur was offering proxies to candidates appearing for the exam.

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