48 impersonators in Vyapam scam still untraced

Over 3,100 accused have been charge-sheeted by the CBI in connection with the scam so far.

The CBI is still on the lookout for 48 persons who had appeared in place of the original candidates in the entrance and recruitment examinations conducted by Vyapam in Madhya Pradesh, according to the agency’s website. Over 3,100 accused have been charge-sheeted by the CBI in connection with the scam so far.

Photographs of the suspects are uploaded on the website, with a declaration that anyone providing credible information — resulting in the identification of their whereabouts — would get ₹10,000 a head. The names of only four suspects, two of who are said to be from Basti and Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, have been mentioned.

The untraced impersonators had appeared in the pre-medical tests conducted from 2008 to 2013 and a teaching eligibility test in 2011. Several of them took the tests multiple times.

155 cases

The CBI has been pursuing 155 cases related to the Vyapam scam. In order to identify the suspects, it had initially created a database of 10 lakh students who were either from medical colleges or those enrolled in coaching classes in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Delhi, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.

Their particulars were cross-checked with the information provided in the application forms. A facial recognition software was also used for matching their facial features with those of the photographs on admit cards, to zero in on the suspects.

Based on the evidence furnished by the CBI, the trial courts have so far convicted about 100 accused in 36 Vyapam cases.

The latest conviction was achieved in January when one Manish Kumar, an impersonator in the pre-medical test conducted in 2004, was sentenced to five-year rigorous imprisonment. He was tracked down to Patna and arrested by the CBI in November 2018.

The agency found that Manish had completed his MBBS from Bihar’s Darbhanga in 2011 and was pursuing a post-graduate course at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

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