APSSB
APSSB headquarters in Itanagar.

Several aggrieved aspirants, who appeared for the LDC/JSA examination, conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) on Monday took to the streets at Itanagar on Monday.

They demanded suspension of APSSB chairman VC Verma and controller of examinations SK Jain for their alleged failure to conduct the exams properly.

The demand from the candidates comes days after a suspicious optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet, bearing Roll No 2025546, was widely circulated on social media, for which the APSSB has been drawing flak from all quarters.

Also read: Irregularities in APSSB Exam: Arunachal CM assures to fast-track probe

As per the results of the exams — which were published on the board’s website on Friday, the candidate with Roll No 2025546 has been shortlisted for the skill test.

However, if one goes through the yet-to-be-verified OMR sheet, it suggests that the candidate had left the answer sheet blank.

The candidates, who marched from the Indira Gandhi Park to the APSSB office, later submitted a nine-point representation to chief secretary Naresh Kumar.

In the representation, the candidates demanded re-conduct of the examination within a span of one month.

The aspirants in their representation said: “In the Assam Public Service Commission cash-for-job scam, a member of parliament’s daughter was arrested along with at least 59 officers, something which has never happened in the state.”

“Chief Minister Pema during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to our state had said that Arunachal is a corruption-free state.”

“We hope that he stays true to his word and makes sure that no one, however, powerful he or she may be, is spared if found guilty in the investigation,” the letter said.

The aspirants further said they would intensify their movement in the form of a democratic protest if their demands are not met within two days.

“We will be left with no other options other than to launch a prolonged democratic movement against the injustice meted to us,” the letter read.

The other demands of the applicants include conduct of future APSSB examinations in the Capital Complex, furnishing of answer keys the very next day of the written examination as and when conducted and inclusion of APSSB examination results under the purview of RTI.

Besides, they also demanded display of marks of the selected students on the APSSB website, installation of CCTV cameras in each and every examination hall and constitution of a special investigating team to look into the scandal.

The aspirants also put forward an offer for the candidate allegedly involved in the scam to come forward and reveal the names of the officials involved in the scandal before the public or be debarred from giving examinations for lifetime and face legal action.

Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) has expressed concern at the latest development in the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) where a candidate, who did not mark his OMR sheet, was shortlisted for the skill test.

While welcoming the statement of chief minister Pema Khandu, who said, action would be initiated against those involved, the organization said action initiated should have a permanent solution so that such incidents are not repeated.

APWWS further said APSSB when formed was a ray of hope and a step towards transparent recruitment.

An FIR has, meanwhile, been registered with the Special Investigation Cell under several sections of the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act, in connection with the alleged malpractice in the examinations.

DAMIEN LEPCHA

Damien Lepcha is Northeast Now Correspondent in Arunachal Pradesh. He can be reached at: lepcharaul@gmail.com