Tainted Exam Board Chief Placed Behind Bars

SRINAGAR: After three-days of sustained questioning, Mushtaq Ahmad Pir, the former high profile Chairman J&K Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) was on Saturday arrested by the Crime Branch for his involvement in the multi-million 2012 CET paper leak racket.

Confirming the news, IGP Crime, Javaid Mujtaba Gillani said that Pir was arrested after the Crime Branch established his involvement in the scam. “After sustained questioning we established his involvement in the case and have arrested him formally under section 420, 120B of RPC and 52 PC Act,” Gillani said.

Pir is allegedly involved in a multi-million test paper leakage racket for the 2012 MBBS entrance examinations in which test papers were leaked in advance to aspirants who paid hefty sums of money to get selected for the course.

He is also alleged to have set up a special examination centre in Srinagar city for the candidates who had paid him money, crime branch officials said.

Pir was assisted by two residents of Anantnag district in the paper leak racket.

Incharge Superintendent of Police, Bashir Ahmed said that more arrests are likely in coming few days.

He further said that so for CB has questioned a number of students, parents and few brokers who were part of this big scam.  “After ascertaining all the facts and collecting data, we are going to act against the culprits,” he said adding that no one will be spared.

With the arrest of Pir the number of arrests made by CB so far has reached three. However, one of them,  Farooq Ahmad Itoo, has already turned approver for the investigators and according to reports CB has recorded his statement and all those brokers, students and parents are being called for questioning whose names have been revealed by Itoo.

According to sources in the Crime Branch Pir was taken for medical examination soon after his arrest and was lodged in Rajbagh police station.

A Crime Branch Official said that all the evidences collected by CB amply makes it clear that former BOPEE chairman is the king-pin in the racket. “The involvement of big-guns can’t be ruled out in the scam. We are trying to find out whether Mushtaq Pir acted on his own or was having the patronage of some big-guns. It is a lengthy process and hopefully we will unearth it in coming days,” he said.

Pertinently, after raiding his residential houses in Professor Colony Hazratbal and Sidhra Jammu, Pir had surrendered before CB on Wednesday morning.

Mushtaq Ahmed Bhat alias Mushataq Ahmed Pir son of Abdul Aziz Bhat originally belongs to Mughal Mohalla, Chattabal Srinagar. After retirement, the former Board of Professional Entrance Examinations (BOPEE) Chairman was appointed as consultant to the state government on May 5 this year. However after surfacing of the scam, government terminated his post-retirement contractual services.   

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