Guwahati: BJP MP’s Daughter Among 19 Arrested For Assam Civil Service Exam Scam
Assam police arrested 19 Assam government officers including Pallavi Sharma, the daughter of BJP MP R P Sharma and son and daughter of former Judge Jamini Gogoi Phukan on July 18. Another arrested is the niece of BJP legislator Joyram Engleng. All these officers were held in Guwahati after their handwriting did not match with that in their answer sheets in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) examination held in 2016, police said. While the BJP lawmaker claimed that it was a political conspiracy against him to deny him ticket for 2019 assembly elections.
Arrested after test
Initially, the officers were earlier let go after a handwriting test. Due to which, many of them disappeared later, evading arrest. So, this time, the Assam Police officials decided to arrest the accused immediately after their handwriting did not match with answer sheets and found to be fake in a forensic test.
“We have already collected their handwriting from their offices concerned. We have also carried out forensic tests on their handwriting and matched with those recovered from the fake answer sheets recovered from the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC),” said Dibrugarh Superintendent of Police Goutam Bora, reported NDTV.
Mr Bora said the police have enough forensic evidence to prove their involvement in the scam. “Each of these officials had submitted three to five fake answer sheets for the examinations.”
The total count of arrests in the case has gone over 50 on Thursday.
The officers arrested by the Dibrugarh Police, which is probing into the case, included 13 Assam Civil Service (ACS), 3 Assam Police Service (APS) and 3 allied service officials from the batch of 2016. They were asked to appear for handwriting test after examinations of the answer sheets indicated incongruity. All of these officers were selected when Rakesh Paul was the ASPC chairman.
In 2016, the police arrested Mr Paul and 3 others namely, APSC members Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley and assistant controller of examinations Pabitra Kaibarta, for their alleged involvement in the scam.
Investigations against the accused revealed how fake answer sheets were supplied to several candidates to rewrite their answers after the real exam was over, which was then replaced with their original answer scripts.
On June 21 this year, the State government dismissed 13 arrested State civil services officers from service for their alleged involvement in the scam. They were under probation when they were arrested in November 2017 and are currently lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail.
The accusations against them were of bribing Mr Paul and using unfair means in the examinations to qualify for the State civil services. Among the dismissed officers is former Congress Minister Nilamani Sen Deka’s son Rajarshi Sen Deka.
In such a corrupt state, an honest civil service aspirant may wonder what else needs to be done to crack the exam.