Assam cash-for-jobs: 19 gazetted officers including BJP MP’s daughter arrested


GUWAHATI, July 19, 2018: 19 more gazetted officers, including the daughter of Tezpur BJP MP R.P. Sharma were arrested by Assam police on Wednesday  in connection with the cash-for-jobs scam in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC).

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The officers, including 13 Assam Civil Service and three Assam Police Service, were arrested after being summoned for verification of their handwriting specimen at the special branch headquarters of the state police in state.

A district transport officer, a tax superintendent and a tax inspector were also arrested. This takes total number of arrests in the scam to 54, since a case was registered by Dibrugarh police in October 2016. Eleven APSC officials, including former chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and two other members, have been also arrested. Pallavi Sharma, daughter of R.P. Sharma, who was selected as a deputy superintendent of police in 2016 and was on probation in Sivasagar district, engaged in a quarrel with the police after not being allowed to take her car into the special branch headquarters around 11am. Hours later, she was arrested.

Police officers said they were arrested based on the forensic report of their answer scripts that "confirmed illegal means" in their appointments in 2016. A senior police officer said three to five fake answer scripts were "supplied by APSC officers" against each candidate who were given jobs in lieu of money. "We had already compared the answer scripts with their handwritings in the documents they signed after joining duty. They were summoned and then arrested. Today they were also asked to write some papers for further verification."

Confirming the arrests, Dibrugarh additional superintendent of police Surjeet Singh Paneswar said the officers would be produced in court on Thursday.

Sharma said his daughter had been falsely implicated and the case would "collapse" in court because there are "loopholes" in the police investigation. "Let the trial start. I will prove her innocence," Sharma said, while hinting at a conspiracy of "using" the case to "deny" him a ticket for 2019 Lok Sabha polls. He had earlier said it was part of a "political conspiracy" going on for one-and-a-half years.

The arrested civil service officers are Utpal Bhuyan, Barnali Das, Md Saibur Rahman Borbhuyan, Susovan Das, Dhruvojyoti Chakraborty, Manzoor Ilahi Laskar, Moon Mazoomdar, Mustafa Ahmed Borbhuyan, Monika Teronpi, Ganesh Chandra Das, Srabanti Sengupta, Deepsikha Phukan and Leena Krishna Kakati. The police officers are Pallavi, Gulshan Daolagopu and Bhargav Phukan. Suranjita Hazarika, district transport officer, Kamrup (metro), superintendent of taxes Rhituraj Neog and Nipon Kumar Pathak, inspector of taxes, are the other arrested officers.

Rajarshi Sen Deka, son of former Congress minister Nilamani Sen Deka, was arrested on November 13 last year.

The case was registered after aspirant Anshumita Gogoi lodged a complaint that engineer Nabakanta Patir had offered her a job through the APSC if she paid Rs 10 lakh.

Source: The Telegraph

Featured image: Representation