Itanagar: Irked over the "unresponsive" attitude of the state government in resolving the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) paper leakage mess, civil service aspirants today began a 72-hour hunger strike demanding dissolution of the present Commission.
The state government had already instituted a magisterial inquiry into the anomaly and forwarded the report to the Commission for action but the aspirants were not satisfied with the action taken and demanded President's intervention on the issue, a senior government official said.
The state government had ordered a magisterial inquiry in the question paper leakage pertaining to General Studies Paper-II of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Combined Competitive Examinations (APPSCCE) (Mains 2014) and appointed a senior APCS officer Hento Karga to inquire into the matter of the alleged leakage.
The report, as submitted by the magistrate, broadly recommended cancellation of the said paper and to conduct examination along with other papers as soon as possible, the official said.
It also recommended a criminal proceeding against the persons involved and suspension of four senior officers of the Commission till submission of preliminary report of either police investigation or inquiry officers under CCS conduct rules.
Personnel, Administrative Reforms and Training Commissioner K R Meena in a statement yesterday said that the state cabinet had thoroughly considered the matter of the inquiry report and sent it to the Commission, who as a follow-up suspended four officials-- Joint Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Private Secretary and PA to Joint Secretary.
"The state government has posted a senior IAS officer Ashok Kumar as Secretary to APPSC, Rupak Boje as joint secretary-cum-controller of examination and Tayi Taggu as deputy secretary APPSC to smoothly carry out the work of the Commission," the statement said.
Post September 2014, two new members of APPSC have been appointed and the Commission now has a strength of four members including Chairman APPSC.
One vacancy of member APPSC would be filled shortly which would provide three new members, of the five total, the statement said.
Based on the recommendation of magisterial inquiry report, the Commission may take appropriate decision at its level for conducting examination.
The state government has provided the necessary man power for conducting the examinations, he said adding, the cabinet had also decided to initiate criminal proceedings against the person involved in the matter through Special Investigation Team (SIT).
"The government directed DGP to constitute an SIT to further investigate the matter. The SIT is constituted and it has registered a regular FIR in the matter and investigation is already commenced," Meena said.
The Cabinet has also assessed whether or not a presidential reference is required under Article 317 of the Constitution of India as warranted against any of the members of APPSC on the basis of the report of the Enquiry Magistrate.
However, it is found that despite some adverse observations, no direct or indirect evidence of corruption or personal negligence on the part of any of the member of APPSC is found by the Magisterial Enquiry Report and therefore, at this stage no convincing evidence is forthcoming to recommend for a decision for removal of any member of APPSC under article 317 of the Constitution of India, the statement said.
On the basis of the finding of the SIT, the government would take further appropriate decision on the matter as may be required, it added.
Meanwhile, the Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) today expressed serious concerns over the issue and conveyed its solidarity with the aggrieved civil service aspirants saying that they are the future of the state and therefore their grievances must be resolved immediately by the government and the authorities concerned.
"While we appeal to the aggrieved aspirants to maintain restraint and not resort to extreme measures of agitation like hunger strike, we request the esteemed office of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) not to remain mute spectators to the ongoing agitation," APCC spokesman Hayeng Mangfi said in a statement.