Two police officers in Assam were arrested for their alleged involvement in a cash-for-job scam case involving the 2013 Combined Competitive Examination administered by Assam Public Service Commission (APSC).
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was established by the Assam government in May last year to look into the alleged scam. These two police officers were among the 34 high-ranking government employees named in the SIT’s final report, which was filed last month, as suspects in the cash-for-job scheme.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) arrested Shahjahan Sarkar and Aishwarya Jeevan Baruah, the two police officers on Tuesday night. They will be brought to Guwahati for questioning on Thursday.
Both were employed as Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).
Baruah and Sarkar are the first of the 34 to be arrested, according to the police.
The scam was unearthed in 2016 when Rakesh Paul, the previous chairman of the APSC, was arrested by the Dibrugarh Police in response to a complaint filed against him in that area. The Assam Police then detained about 70 state government officials.
In response to a question before the state Assembly on March 21, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma stated that investigations were underway against 60 government employees who passed the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) exams in 2013, 2015 and 2016.
According to Sarma, 57 of them were arrested before being let off from their positions. Three of them consented to become government approvers.
He also said that some officials who were chosen through the APSC exam in 2013–14 were not included in this.
Earlier, a PIL was filed before the Gauhati High Court last year and the court also questioned why some of the candidates remained outside the police investigation. Following this, the state government formed a Special probe Team (SIT) to conduct a thorough probe.
The SIT headed by Gauhati High Court’s retired justice, Biplab Kumar Sharma submitted a 380-page report to the home department of the Assam government on October 13.
In addition to listing the 34 officials who passed the 2013 APSC exam and were found to be involved in the scheme, the Justice Sharma Commission also raised concerns about Rakesh Paul’s nomination as the then-APSC chairman.
Because of the numerous anomalies and malpractices in the 2013 examination, the Commission advised the government to rescind the selection of the entire batch.
Earlier this month, the Assam government started departmental procedures against 34 officers chosen by the APSC for the 2013 batch, as well as members of the Assam Police Service (APS) and Assam Civil Service (ACS). The police made their first arrest in this alleged scam on Tuesday night.