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Son in Jail, Wife in Politics: Who is NEET-UG Paper Leak ‘Mastermind’ Sanjeev Mukhiya?

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Six middlemen, four students and three parents – a total of 13 people – have been arrested so far in connection with the NEET-UG 2024 paper leak case. The most startling confessions have come from four accused arrested in Bihar – a student, his uncle and two middlemen – whose purported statements to the police detail how four candidates were made to memorise the question paper and answers on the eve of the May 5 examination for a price of Rs 40 lakh per candidate.

But who is the brain behind this hydra-headed operation; who leaked the question paper of the medical entrance exam in the first place? Bihar Police’s Economic Offences Unit (EOU), which is investigating the NEET-UG paper leak case, has refused to comment, but sources in Bihar Police told News18 that questioning of those arrested so far yielded the name of one Sanjeev ‘Mukhiya’, the alleged mastermind of the racket who remains at large.


Is Sanjeev ‘Mukhiya’ the first link in the chain, the initial source of the paper leak? Officially, the Bihar Police are tightlipped. But sources within the police force say the investigation so far has led to this resident of Bihar’s Nalanda district. But who is Sanjeev ‘Mukhiya’?

To begin with, sources say, his name is not ‘Mukhiya’. His actual name is said to be Sanjeev Singh and his wife Mamta Devi was elected the ‘mukhiya’ or chief of the Bhuthakhar Panchayat, following which even Sanjeev came to be addressed as ‘mukhiya’. His wife had also unsuccessfully contested the 2020 Bihar elections from Harnaut seat on a Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJNSP) ticket, emerging the first runner-up.

“It was Sanjeev who arranged the question paper and handed it over to one ‘Rocky’ who is still at large,” a police source told News18, adding that this is not first time Sanjeev’s name has cropped up in a paper leak investigation. “His name has come up in paper leak cases of many competitive exams and he has also faced jail,” the source said.

Sanjeev’s son, a doctor by profession, is also said to be currently in jail for alleged involvement in a Bihar teacher recruitment exam paper leak case. Together, the father-son duo is allegedly part of the ‘Mukhiya Solver Gang’, a notorious group believed to be involved in exam frauds.

Sanjeev ‘Mukhiya’, a resident of Nagarsauna in Nalanda district of Bihar, is a technical assistant at Nalanda College’s Noorsarai branch. Formerly employed at Sabour Agricultural College, he was transferred to Noorsarai after being implicated in similar paper leak scandal, leading to his arrest by Uttarakhand Police in 2016.

He has not been seen since May 6, 2024 when his name cropped up in connection with the NEET-UG 2024 paper leak. Multiple arrests into the paper leak in Bihar, Rajasthan and Delhi strengthened suspicions of his involvement, say police sources. The Nalanda College administration confirmed his absence.

Sanjeev ‘Mukhiya’, however, has not been completely missing in action. He denies any wrongdoing, claims he is being framed and has applied for anticipatory bail through his lawyer in Patna Sadar’s ACGM 9 Court.


Bihar Police officials say it all began with a phone call on May 5, the day the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET (UG) was held.

“We never imagined that a simple tip-off could lead to the high-profile gang involved in the NEET-UG paper leak, which has become a national controversy,” an officer said on condition of anonymity.

The call had come from a Jharkhand-based central agency which alerted the Bihar Police to a gang involved in leaking the NEET-UG 2024 question paper. The inputs contained the details of the car being used by the accused.

“We acted swiftly and tracked the car. We found the alleged members of the organized gang allegedly involved in the NEET-UG exam leak,” said a senior official with the Bihar Police.

The discovery was the tip of the iceberg. Further investigation led the police to 13 people allegedly involved in the racket, including students and their parents.

  • Students: Ayush Kumar (19), a resident of Danapur; Abhishek Kumar (21) from Ranchi; Anurag Yadav (22) from Samastipur; and Shivnandan Kumar from Gaya
  • Parents: Anurag’s mother Rina Kumari; Ayush’s father Akhilesh Kumar; Abhishek’s father Awadhesh Kumar
  • Middlemen: Junior engineer Sikander Prasad Yadvendu, resident of Samastipur and Anurag Yadav’s uncle; his driver Bittu Kumar from Rohtas; and Nitish Kumar and Amit Anand from Munger
  • Associates: Raushan Kumar (Nalanda) and Ashutosh Kumar (Jamui), associates of Amit Anand


Police officials who are part of the investigation told News18 that the gang charged Rs 30 to Rs 50 lakh from the aspirants and used to accommodate them in small lodges in Patna where the students were provided the question papers to be memorised.

Middleman Amit Anand reportedly told the police during interrogation that he and his associates used to provide aspirants with the leaked question paper and answers on the eve of the exam. The aspirants were made to memorise the questions and solutions overnight.

In his confession statement to police, Anand allegedly admitted that his gang used to charge up to Rs 32 lakh per aspirant.

Anand’s statement was corroborated by the purported confession statement of Ayush Kumar, who appeared for the NEET-UG exam at DAV School and was later detained from the centre.

“Ayush confessed that he had received the NEET-UG question paper on Saturday night, a day before the exam that was held on May 5. He said that the question paper he got was the same as the one distributed at the examination centre. Ayush added that 25 other candidates like him were made to memorise the answers to the question paper that was given to them in the premises of Learn Boys Hostel and Learn Play School,” another Bihar Police officer told News18.

In his confession statement, Sikander Prasad Yadvendu, a junior engineer at Danapur Town Council, reportedly confessed to introducing four aspirants, including his nephew Anurag Yadav, to the middlemen. He also allegedly confessed to charging the boys Rs 40 lakh per person, intending to pocket the difference.

When contacted, Manabjit Singh Dhillon, DIG, Economic Offences Wing, Bihar Police, told News18: “As the hearing of the Supreme Court regarding NEET case is approaching on July 8, so we have been advised by our counsel to not let the investigative part being published/broadcasted in media as some news items tend to interpret the news which may prejudice the stand of the EOU and prosecution in the Supreme Court. So, now only the official press release, if needed, will be released officially with the consent of ADG, EOU.”

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to defer the NEET-UG counselling process, scheduled to kick off on July 6, saying it is not an “open and shut” exercise, even as the political pot kept boiling over the controversy-ridden exam with the opposition attacking the Centre over alleged paper leak and other irregularities.

The National Testing Agency (NTA), under fire over the lapses in the conduct of NEET and UGC-NET, is gearing up to conduct on Sunday a retest for the medical entrance exam for 1,563 candidates who were earlier awarded grace marks to make up for the loss of time at six centres.

Source: News18

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