MBBS entrance racket shocks J&K
By Sheikh Qayoom
Srinagar – The plot behind the Jammu and Kashmir MBBS entrance test 2012 racket was so blatant and shocking that it could be the inspiration for a sequel to Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s 2003 comedy flick “Munna Bhai MBBS”.
While the Bollywood blockbuster showed a rogue candidate cheating the system, the test paper racket unearthed by sleuths of the state Crime Branch reveals how the very custodian of the test put the system on sale!
The professional entrance test racket 2012, investigators said, was executed by! none other than the custodian of the test papers, the head of the Board of Professional Entrance Exams (BOPEE).
Mushtaq Ahmad Peer, a professor of Kashmir University’s electronics department, was made the BOPEE chairman in 2009.
While ministers and top bureaucrats credited Peer for what they called “putting in place a fool-proof and transparent system of selection to the various professional colleges in Jammu and Kashmir,” they had little inkling that he was pulling wool over their eyes, engaging in a multi-million rupee racket to benefit himself – and a few middlemen.
After he took over, Peer would declare test results within a day or two after holding an entrance test spread over two days and involving thousands of candidates from across the state.
The scam of 2012 showed that Peer chose beneficiaries who would pay hefty sums of money to middlemen for purchasing test papers.
After collecting money from the parents of aspiring candidate! s, the middlemen ferried the aspirants to Srinagar from their places of! residence in south Kashmir Anantnag district and put them up in a hotel on the Boulevard Road.
Test question papers were leaked to the aspirants along with answer keys at the mock test centre set up inside the hotel to ensure that they scored highly in the test, scheduled for the next day.
The process was repeated the next evening, since the BOPEE entrance test was spread over two days.
Crime Branch disclosures said parents of beneficiaries of test paper leakage racket in 2012 paid anything between Rs.10 and 15 lakh, depending on their financial status.
The investigators hold that Peer earned approximately Rs. 65 lakh from the 2012 racket, while the middlemen earned around Rs.5 crore. The sums were revealed in confessions made by one of the middlemen, who has now turned approver.
Investigators allege that 13 candidates who benefitted from the racket have admitted to having gained access to the test papers before the date of examination a! fter their parents paid money to Peer’s middlemen.
“We suspect more than 30 candidates could have benefitted from this racket in 2012,” a senior Crime Branch officer said.
What added to the suspicions of the investigators was the poor performance of the beneficiaries in internal assessments after they entered medical college.
“Some of those who had finished at the top of the 2012 MBBS selected list have done miserably in our internal assessments,” said a doctor who teaches at Srinagar’s Government Medical College.
While the BOPEE list for 2012 is under a cloud, Crime Branch sleuths have put Peer’s entire tenure since 2009 under the scanner.
“Skeletons are tumbling out of Peer’s cupboard and some of these could also belong to 2011, 2010 and 2009,” said a Crime Branch sleuth who did not want to be named.
Whatever way one looks at it, the revelation of the racket has sent shock waves across the state and beyond. The credibility of th! e process involving the selection of candidates to prestigious professi! onal courses in Jammu and Kashmir lies tattered.