Gangkak’s death raises unanswered questions

[ Bengia Ajum ]

ITANAGAR, 27 Feb: The sudden death of former Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) assistant controller of examination, Tumi Gangkak, has further deepened the mystery over the question paper leakage case and has left many questions unanswered.

Gangkak was found dead under mysterious circumstances near the Ganga Lake area, along the Jote-Poma road, last Friday. His body was found hanging, with his wrists and Achilles tendons of both legs slit. The police have lodged a murder case and a special investigation team, under the leadership of DSP Kengo Dirchi, has formally taken over the case and started investigation.

The family of late Gangkak has alleged that SIC and CBI officials had harassed him prior to him being found dead under mysterious circumstances. The family has accused SIC officials T Messar and B Krong of harassing him. Inspector Krong, who was earlier the investigating officer of the SIC PS Case No 11/2022, which deals with the question paper leakage of the assistant engineer exam, is currently attached with the CBI, along with Inspector Techi Nega.

Gangkak was initially under suspicion for his role in Case No 11/2022, and the SIC questioned him multiple times in this regard. He was the examination in-charge for both assistant and junior engineer examinations conducted by the APPSC, and the questions papers of both exams were leaked.

“As per SOP of the commission, the examination in-charge used to be the sole custodian of manuscripts of the question papers. As per our investigation, question papers were being leaked when it was in manuscript form, before it was being sent for printing. Therefore we did question Gangak and he was very cooperative with us,” said an official.

During the course of investigation, the SIC could not find any strong evidence of Gangkak’s involvement in the AE and JE question paper leakage case. After a detailed investigation, the SIC learned that it was Taket Jerang who had adopted a modus operandi to get the question papers leaked.

“A lottery draw used to be held to select sets of question papers that should be sent for printing. After the lottery draw was made, Taket Jerang used to issue work orders for the printing press to print the question papers. During this time, he takes the manuscript of question papers to his room on the pretext of making work orders. Cleverly, Jerang always made the printing press contractors wait outside while preparing ‘work orders’. That was when he used to steal the papers,” the official added.

The SIC stopped questioning Gangkak after they did not find any evidence against him.

“We never wanted any innocent to suffer and therefore worked extremely hard in this case. Many of our officers have not taken a single leave, including on Sundays, since the day we took over this case. It was because of our meticulous investigation that late Gangkak was found innocent in Case No 11/2022. But we had to question him initially because he was in charge of both the examinations,” the official added.

The CBI, which took over the case from the SIC on 27 October, 2022, made him an eyewitness in the case.

“The CBI has already filed a chargesheet and he was not named in it. Therefore his death is intriguing to all of us. The possibility of SIC or CBI officials trying to harm him does not arise as he was our key eyewitness and was very cooperative too,” the official said.

Inspectors Messar, Nega and Krong, who played an important role in busting the APSSB cash-for-job scam and the APPSC question paper leak case, have arrested 80 people in connection with both cases.

On 23 February, Inspector Krong, who is now working with the CBI, had called up Gangkak and asked him to come to his office to verify a matter related to the 2017 combined competitive examination conducted by the APPSC. Unfortunately, he was found dead the next day.

“For us, this is a case of murder. We have lost one of the dearest family members for no fault. He has been given a clean chit by both the CBI and the SIC. But still he was harassed. We suspect foul play and we will continue to seek justice, come what may,” said the deceased’s nephew, Dr Goto Gangkak.