Arunachal CM Pema Khandu has directed state’s chief secretary Naresh Kumar to conduct the probe  Credit: File image

Itanagar: A day after a suspicious optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet, bearing roll number 2025546, was widely circulated on social media and for which the board has been drawing flak from all quarters, chief minister Pema Khandu on Sunday assured that a fast-track probe would be initiated into the alleged irregularities in the examination conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB), the results of which were announced on Friday.

As per the results of the exams — for recruiting lower-division clerks, junior secretariat assistants, among others — which were published on the board’s website on Friday, the candidate with roll number 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 answer sheet that has landed APSSB in trouble

“I have directed the chief secretary for a fast-track probe into alleged irregularities in exam conducted by the APSSB whose results were shortlisted for skill test. I assure the people of Arunachal of speedy justice. Those involved will not be spared, no matter how influential they may be,” Khandu said in a statement.

“No one can play with the future of our youths. Those trying to trample the rights of our people have no place except jail. An impartial investigation will be carried out leaving no stone unturned,” Khandu said.

Khandu also said that “creation of the APSSB is the biggest reform brought by my government for bringing transparency in recruitment process and ensure a progressive Arunachal”.

The state government passed the Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board Bill for setting up the board in September 2018.

The board conducts examinations and selects candidates for appointment to the subordinate services/Group C posts in the government departments, organisations and autonomous bodies established by the government.

The All Arunachal Pradesh Students’ Union (AAPSU) termed the irregularities a “disturbing development”.

The organisation appealed the special investigation cell (SIC) of the state police to immediately go into the crux of the whole incident in a time-bound manner. “Exemplary punishment should be given to the perpetrators of the crime. The incident shook the very foundation of fair play as envisaged by the state government in recruiting genuine talents,” said AAPSU general secretary Tobom Dai in a statement on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, the Rajiv Gandhi University Students’ Union held a peaceful protest rally in Itanagar against the alleged corruption in the staff selection board.

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