Assam police recruitment exam paper leak: Cong alleges involvement of senior BJP leader

GUWAHATI: The opposition Congress on Thursday alleged that a senior BJP leader was involved in the Assam Police recruitment paper leak scam and claimed that it proved that RSS was behind it.

The RSS, it claimed, is planning to put its cadres in the police force.

The opposition party demanded a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the case, while the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) staged protests and burnt effigies of Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal across the state.

Addressing a press conference here, Assam PCC president Ripun Bora said “It was the RSS planning to put its cadres in the police force. That is why BJP leaders were involved in the process.”

BJP Kisan Morcha National Executive Member Diban Deka, whose name has cropped up in connection with the scam, on Thursday said he was involved with the examination process and has now left Assam as he might be “killed anytime” as “many big and corrupt officials” of Assam Police are involved in the nexus.

“Assam Police comes under the CM himself. How can a police department probe be held impartially against the police itself? This is nothing but a drama. We demand an impartial probe by a sitting high court judge,” said Bora, a Rajya Sabha MP.

AIUDF MLA Rafiqul Islam too slammed the BJP-led government in the state at a press conference here and demanded a speedy probe into the scandal.

The Assam BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass told reporters that if any member of the party is found to be involved, then “he should be arrested and punished first before anyone else”.

On September 20, the question paper of the written examination for 597 posts of unarmed sub-inspectors in Assam Police was leaked and the authorities cancelled the test minutes after it had commenced across the state.

Around 66,000 candidates had appeared for the written tests across 154 centres in all the districts.

On September 12, the State Level Police Recruitment Board (SLPRB) Chairman Pradeep Kumar had issued a notice cautioning candidates for the examination against touts after an audio clip went viral that promised a job for the police sub-inspector’s post against payment of Rs 4 lakh in cash.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has directed Kumar to conduct the examination again within a month and asked the director general of police to identify the nexus which had conspired to spoil the recruitment process.

He said the culprits in the scam should be awarded strict punishment as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia dashed off a letter to Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan urging him to seek an explanation from state-owned Keltron as it was entrusted the responsibility of conducting the Assam Police recruitment test.

“I regret to draw your attention to the fact that the Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron) has become embroiled in a question paper-leak scandal pertaining to a written test for 597 vacant posts of Sub-Inspectors of Police under the Government of Assam,” Saikia said in the letter.

The question paper got leaked on social media a day prior to the scheduled examination on September 20 and, as a result, the fate of around 66,000 applicants has become shrouded in uncertainty.

According to preliminary reports, he said, the incident happened because Keltron blindly awarded sub- contracts to two local firms with dubious bona fides at the behest of BJP leaders of Assam.

“While the first firm has already been involved in at least two question paper-leak scandals involving other departments of the Government of Assam in recent times, the other firm is reported to be operating as a call centre and has no experience of conducting an important examination of this sort,” the letter read.

It is evident that Keltron awarded the sub-contracts with the intention of earning easy profits without considering the consequences, the Congress leader claimed.

Saikia requested the Kerala chief minister “to call for an explanation from the authorities of Keltron regarding the scam.

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