19 civil and police service officers in Assam, including a BJP lawmaker's daughter, have been arrested in Guwahati in connection with the civil service job scam in the state. Among those arrested is Pallabi Sarma, daughter of RP Sharma, BJP's Lok Sabha MP from Tezpur. Another arrested, Monika, is the niece of BJP legislator Joyram Engleng.
The Assam Police had summoned three state police officers, 13 civil service officials and three allied service officials to appear for a handwriting test at the Special Branch Headquarters in Kahilipara area in Guwahati today.
The officers were earlier let go after the handwriting test but many of them disappeared later, evading arrest. So, this time, the Assam Police officials decided to arrest the accused immediately after their handwriting was matched with answer sheets and found to be fake in a forensics test.
"We have already collected their handwriting from their offices concerned. We have also carried out forensic tests on their handwriting and matched with those recovered from the fake answer sheets recovered from the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC)," said Dibrugarh Superintendent of Police Goutam Bora.
Mr Bora said the police have enough forensic evidence to prove their involvement in the scam. "Each of these officials had submitted three to five fake answer sheets for the examinations."
Police sources said the arrested officials will be produced in the Special Judge's Court in Guwahati on Thursday. The arrested officers appeared for the Combined Competitive Examination-14 in 2014 and were given appointments in 2016.
These officers had reportedly bribed huge amounts of money to the some members of the Commission, which holds examinations for these plum posts of state service cadres. The arrest of an assistant engineer, who was caught red-handed while accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a woman dentist, opened a can of worms in the APSC.
The Assam police had earlier arrested 44 government officers in connection with the scam. Rakesh Paul - the prime accused and suspended chairman of the APSC - along with the arrested officials is lodged at the Guwahati Central Jail.
A raid at Rakesh Paul's residence and APSC office in Guwahati yielded two sets of answer scripts of three ACS officers. The trio was arrested as their selection was found to be based on duplicate assessment.
Police later seized more than 1,000 copies of answer scripts from the APSC office for examination.
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