In a sensational development, the Assam Police on Wednesday arrested 19 government officers including the daughter of BJP MP RP Sharma, for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore cash-for-jobs scam. This has taken the number of people arrested so far to 55.
APS officer Pallabi Sharma is the daughter of BJP MP from Tezpur constituency, RP Sharma. Curiously, last year, Sharma had caused quite a flutter within his party after he accused his own BJP government’s irrigation minister, Ranjit Dutta, of taking bribes for allocating department works. He had also levelled corruption charges against some other ministers. Dutta had denied the allegations.
The ACS officers arrested on Wednesday were Utpal Bhuyan, Barnali Das, Susovan Das, Dhruvojyoti Chakraboty, Manzoor Ilahi Laskar, Moon Mazoomdar, Mustafa Ahmed Borbhuyan, Md Saibur Rahman Borbhuyan, Monika Teronpi, Ganesh Chandra Das, Srabanti Sen Gupta, Deepsikha Phukan and Leena Krishna Kakati. Additional SP and investigating officer Surjeet Singh Paneswar said that the APS officers arrested were Gulshan Daolagpu, Bhargav Phukan and Pallabi Sharma.
The allied service officer are District Transport Officer Suranjita Hazarika, Superintendent of Taxes Rituraj Neog and Inspector of Taxes Nipon Kumar Pathak, he said. A report by News18 said that Rakesh Paul, the prime accused and suspended chairman of the APSC, was already lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail along with other arrested officials.
The Dibrugarh Police, which is probing the cash-for-jobs scam in the APSC, had summoned the officers of the Assam Civil Service (ACS), Assam Police Service (APS) and allied services to appear for handwriting tests after forensic examinations of their answer sheets indicated anomalies, reported PTI.
Superintendent of Police, Dibrugarh, Gautam Bora, said that their handwriting did not match with their answer sheets, which were found to be fake during forensic tests.
“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),” Bora was quoted as saying.
Bora added that 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.”
A report by IANS, said that the 19 officials included 13 of the Assam Civil Service (ACS) cadre, three of the Assam Police Service (APS) and three from the allied services cadre.
All the 19 officers entered the Special Branch headquarters around 10 am where they were arrested later.
The police had summoned all of them on the pretext of collecting their handwriting specimen as it was feared that the officials might abscond later.
The Assam Police had earlier arrested 36 persons for their involvement in the cash-for-job scam.
These officers had reportedly bribed huge amounts of money to the some members of the Commission, which holds examinations for these plum posts of state service cadres.
The police have also arrested APSC members Basanta Doley and Samedur Rahman, APSC Examination Controller Pabitra Koibarta and other officials of the Commission for accepting bribes to manipulate the results of examinations.