Thousands join march in Itanagar against corruption

Clamour for uniform inquiry, arrests in APPSC paper leak scam grows louder

Staff Reporter

ITANAGAR, 3 Dec: The clamour for a uniform investigation and arrest of all the officers, including the chairman and the secretary, of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC), in connection with the AE (civil) paper leak scam, is growing louder with thousands of people staging a ‘referendum rally’ themed ‘anti-APPSC march’ and ‘A revolution for Arunachal future’, on Saturday, demanding rooting out corruption from the APPSC and interrogation of the then APPSC chairman Nipo Nabam, secretary Jayanta Kumar Ray, and all other members and officers of the commission.

The rally was organised by the All Nyishi Student’s Union (ANSU) and APPSCCE aspirants, under the aegis of the Pan-Arunachal Steering Committee for APPSC (PASC-APPSC), and was supported by several community-based unions, such as the Galo Students’ Union, the Adi Students’ Union, the All Tagin Students’ Union, the Apatani Students’ Union, the Wancho Students’ Union, the Puroik Students’ Union, etc.

The peaceful march started from Dera Natung Government College and culminated at IG Park, where, addressing the gathering, ANSU president Nabam Dodum set a deadline for the government to “fulfil the 13-point charter of demands or face unprecedented democratic movement by the ANSU and the agitated aspirants.”

“If this government does not redress our issues, we would see it as our enemy. I believe everyone will support our movement as one Arunachali,” the ANSU president said.

“The three-member committee report of the 2017 APPSC paper leakage fiasco has never been tabled. This three-member report will determine the involvement of all chairmen, secretaries, and the members,” Dodum said.

Reacting to the allegation that he was trying to protect former APPSC chairman Nipo Nabam from being interrogated, Dodum retorted: “I truly feel and pray that Nipo Nabam was not involved in this fiasco. However, if he is involved, he must be arrested. This is ANSU’s stand.”

He called upon all stakeholders to “ensure that reformation is percolated down in all sectors, not only in the commission.”

“If we want to reform the APPSC and stop corruption, every stakeholder should ensure that whoever was recruited in this exam after this movement, they should also keep their principles and respect our pains and sentiment,” Dodum said.

Representing the PASC-APPSC, aspirant Techi Puru questioned the credibility of the Special Investigation Cell (SIC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

“Why can’t chairman Nipo Nabam be investigated and interrogated? The entire fiasco happened under him,” said Puru, who demanded also that Taket Jerang be made to take narco and polygraph tests.

Joining the rally, Prof Nani Bath exhorted all the community-based organisations and the Nyishi Elite Society to help the investigating agencies in arresting all the culprits.

Prof Bath also sought to know why the Pema Khandu government failed to root out corruption in the APPSC and the APSSB.

“Where did the intelligence agency go when a scam of such intensity and magnitude was happening in the system?” Prof Bath questioned.

Whistleblower Gyamar Padang’s brother, advocate Gyamar Maya, also appealed to every individual in the state to join in rooting out corruption from the APPSC.

“We need to rise beyond the community if we want to root out the corrupt system,” said Maya.

The community-based student unions expressed solidarity with the ANSU and the aspirants in the movement against the APPSC paper leak scam.

Social activist Payi Gyadi also joined the protest march and urged everyone to “come forward to support the movement to cleanse corrupt system in the commission.”

Earlier, ANSU general secretary Gora Rikam informed that the ANSU has submitted a 13-point memorandum of demands before the state government. The demands include bringing the chairman, secretary, members and all other officials of the commission, from 2014 to 2022, under the purview of the investigation.

It has also demanded establishment of a state administrative tribunal; endorsement of enforcement department and court-monitored probe and seizure of all assets and properties of the accused and their kith and kin; immediate disclosure of the status of the various departmental inquiries against the suspended or arrested officials; disclosure of the three-member committee report; and enactment of a whistleblower Act, “with special provisions of protection of whistleblower,” among other things.