No leniency for the paper leak accused

[ Bengia Ajum ]

The APPSCCE question paper leak case is getting bigger with each passing day. The number of people arrested in the case as of now stands at 32. The shockingly large number of arrests includes toppers of their respective examinations. It is believed that in the coming days more people are expected to be arrested. The scam seems to have deep roots, and if the SIC investigates properly, many more will be arrested.

The job of the SIC does not end just by arresting the accused. It has to prepare a strong case and file a chargesheet at the earliest, so that the accused do not go scot-free. As the number of people involved in the scam increases, one still wonders how come such a large-scale scam was being run in the commission without being detected. All the people who held positions in the commission from 2014 to till 2022, including the chairmen, members, and secretaries, should be held responsible for it. They simply cannot wash their hands off their responsibilities.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu recently while talking to the media urged aspirants to concentrate on preparing for the exam and to leave the investigation part to the government. But it is the pressure of the aspirants that has led to the arrest of so many people. The aspirants have relentlessly pursued the matter, which forced the SIC to broaden the investigation. In fact, the majority of information related to the accused has been passed on to the SIC by the aspirants. The state intelligence department has been absolutely found wanting. If aspirants had remained silent and left the matter to the investigation agency, who knows, the case might not have been probed properly.

There is deep anger among the aspirants over the APPSCCE paper leak case and their anger is justified. They are restless and are seeking the arrest and punishment of all the people involved in the case. It is tough to even try to understand their pain and agony. Many of them had prepared hard for these exams, sacrificing everything. Some had resigned to their fate, thinking they were simply not meant for these jobs. They had to face humiliation from friends, families, and society for failing to clear these examinations. Now, since they know that these examinations were manipulated, thereby depriving them, anger is brewing.

The state government should not try to take things lightly. Recently, when a protest rally was organized by the ANSU and the aspirants, it witnessed massive participation. Everyone is feeling hurt and is deeply disappointed with the system for failing to give them justice. I had attended the rally and could easily feel the anger of the youths. If proper action is not initiated against the people involved in the case, there might be huge repercussions in the days to come. The anger and hurt feelings are deeply running among the youths of the state.

Apart from arresting the people involved in the paper leak case, the state government should initiate action against the government employees who have been arrested under the CSS rules. They should be terminated from their jobs and the process for it should be immediately started. The people who are involved in the paper leak case deserve no mercy. No clan- or tribe-based organisation should try to protect these people.