Huge embarrassment for ruling BJP as photographs of paper leak case kingpin with political bigwigs and state DGP appear
Dehradun, Aug 18
The involvement of a ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader in a paper leak case of a recruitment examination conducted by Uttarakhand State Subordinate Services Commission (UKSSC) and appearance of his photos with senior BJP leaders including present Chief Minister and a former Chief Minister, ministers and Director General of Police (DGP) has thoroughly embarrassed the state Uttarakhand government.
The issue has snowballed into a major controversy following appearance of the photographs of the kingpin in the case with bigwigs and state police chief. Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami whose photograph is also with the alleged accused in statement today said that it was serious issue linked with employment of the youth and none of the culprits would be spared.
He made this statement after former Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Harish Rawat demanded an impartial probe and action against the culprits in the case. He said that the case should not be hushed up like the scandal in compensation of National Highway74, as done by the previous BJP state government, giving clean chits to all those officials and political bigwigs allegedly involved.
Uttarakhand State Subordinate Services Commission (UKSSC) had conducted a graduation level examination for state government recruitment on December 4 and 5, 2021 and later it was found on July 24, 2022 that the examination papers were leaked in a clandestine manner. The probe in the case was entrusted to the Special Task Force (STF) which has arrested 19 people including one Hakam Singh Zila panchayat member of Uttarakashi district, who is a the kingpin in the paper leak case.
The STF today arrested the 19th person in the case who is known to be an employee of the brother of a ruling party legislator. It is alleged that six persons were selected in the examination who were close to them. The arrested person has been identified as Ankit Ramola, a resident of Uttarkashi.
The other arrested persons include technical staff of the company which conducted the examination, home guards on duty at the office of the UKSSSC and some owners of coaching institutes.
S. Raju, a former IAS officer who was Chairman of the Uttarakhand State Subordinate Service Commission (UKSSSC) had also resigned as the examination paper leak scandal surfaced.
Ajai Singh, Superintendent of Police (SP), STF, probing the case said that huge money was involved since the gang led by Hakam Singh charged more than Rs. 15 lakh from each person to whom question papers were leaked. He further said that since huge money is involved in the case, the case will also be sent to Enforcement Directorate (ED).
Interestingly, following the appearance of photographs of political leaders belonging to ruling BJP and state DGP, Indresh Maikhuri, a senior CPI(ML) leader and secretary of Garhwal unit of the party wrote an open letter to the DGP stating that Hakam Singh had been previously also allegedly involved in forest Guard examination scandal and a FIR was lodged against him as well. Indresh Maikhuri asked that since the photographs of DGP with his family members reportedly at the resort owned by Hakam Singh have become public, he wanted to know whether the DGP knew about the wrongdoings of Hakam Singh.
Maikhuri said that if he know about him, then it is better not to say anything but he was unaware then it is all the more serious pointing towards the failure of the intelligence system of the police. Indresh Maikhuri said that morally the person should step down but since DGP is the police chief probing the case, he expressed hope that, a fair and impartial probe should be conducted to punish the culprits who played havoc with the career and employment opportunities of lakhs of educated youth of the state.
Ashok Kumar, DGP, Uttarakhand, later, tweeted that photographs with politicians or police officials does not absolve them of their criminal actions and liabilities. He assured that all the culprits in the case would be brought to book.