Guwahati : As the biggest move against corruption by the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Assam, the Assam police on Wednesday had arrested 15 officials of Assam Civil Service (ACS), Assam Police Service (APS) and other allied services in connection with the cash-for-job scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC).
According to the reports, the scam was took place during the previous Congress regime.
Dibrugarh police had arrested the 15 officials from different parts of the state in the wee hours of Wednesday, who were declared successful in the 2013 APSC examination and appointed by the state government in 2015.
A top police official said that, 10 more officials are likely to be arrested soon.
"All the officials were arrested after forensic reports confirming that, they have been involved in illegal process to get jobs under APSC. The investing team of Dibrugarh police led by Additional SP SS Panesar had collected handwriting samples of 25 officials on June 9 last and the samples were sent to the forensic laboratory. The investigating team collected handwriting samples of the officials after their answer scripts found doubtful," the top police official said.
Earlier, Dibrugarh police had seized 1265 answer scripts of the APSC examination held in 2013 and 2015 from the strong room of the commission office in Guwahati.
The arrested officials are Harshajyoti Bora, DSP (Border), Guwahati, Sabira Imran, DSP, 12th Assam Police Battalion, Sonitpur, Jayanta Kumar Nath, 7th Bn DSP, Kokrajhar, Sudipta Goswami Bhattacharya, Employment Officer, Karimganj, Debajit Bora, Election Officer, Hamren, Pallabika Sarma Choudhury, Circle Officer, Darrang, Hemanta Hillol Saikia, DSP, Special Branch, Jorhat, Dipankar Khanikar, ACS, Sivasagar, Anirudha Rai, Circle Officer, Lakhimpur, Himangshu Choudhury, Circle Officer, Agamani, Amarjit Das, Employment Officer, Sonitpur, Raju Saha, Labour Inspector, Barpeta, Kunal Das, Circle Officer, Nalbari, Dithun Borgoyari, Circle Officer, Margherita, Jatindra Prasad Baruah, DSP.
Meanwhile, Assam DGP Mukesh Sahay said that, few more officials on charges of allegedly bribing their way to get job would likely to be arrested soon.
On the other hand, the Dibrugarh police had grilled the arrested officials at the head quarter of Assam police Special Branch, Kahilipara in Guwahati.
Earlier, Dibrugarh police had arrested three ACS officers Bhaskarjyoti Dev Sharma, Bhaskar Dutta and Amit Sharma in connection with the scam and later the state government had dismissed their services.
The BJP-led Assam government had unearthed the scam in 2016 and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had directed the Assam police to probe into the scandal.
The cash-for-job scam in the APSC took place during the previous Congress government tenure led by Tarun Gogoi.
Police had already arrested former chairman of APSC Rakesh Paul, his two associate members Samedur Rahman, Basanta Doley, Pabitra Koiborta, Nabakanta Patir.
On August 31 last, the Gauhati High Court had granted bail to 10 accused, who were arrested in connection with the cash-for-job scam of Assam Public Service Commission (APSC).
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal appreciated police action of arresting 15 ACS, APS and allied service officers from different parts of the state in APSC’s cash for job scam.
In a press statement, Chief Minister Sonowal reiterated state government’s commitment of zero tolerance against corruption and asserted that the fight against this social evil will continue unabated.
He also reaffirmed that no accused in the scam could evade arrest by hiding and mentioned that no one would be spared. Sonowal further directed the police to speed up operation to nab all the accused officers.
The Assam CM also expressed confidence that administration would be more transparent as a result of government’s steps against corruption and asserted that full authority has been given to police for carrying out operation against graft cases.
He also appealed to the people of the state to stand up against corruption and report all graft cases to the anti-corruption wings of the government for appropriate action.
(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)