By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 14 Aug: Hakam Singh Rawat, a district Panchayat member from Uttarkashi district arrested late last evening by the Uttarakhand Special Task Force (STF) over his alleged role in the UKSSSC Question Paper leak case, has been in the news for similar reasons in the past, too. In the year 2020, too, he was accused of involvement in rigging of competition conducted also by UKSSSC but, at that time, the Police had been unable to gather any evidence against him and he had managed to escape the clutches of the law.
However, this time, he has been accused of being the mastermind of the UKSSSC paper leak. He was touring Thailand when his name surfaced for the first time in the present case and that time a section of the media had claimed that he had fled the country. However, he returned home two to three days ago and was on his way to Himachal Pradesh which shares a border with district Uttarkashi, when he was intercepted and arrested.
With his arrest, 18 accused have been arrested so far in the STF paper leak case. District Panchayat member of Uttarkashi, Hakam Singh, came on the radar of the STF after the arrest of an accused, Tanuj Sharma.
Tanuj Sharma was arrested earlier by the STF team on the basis of important evidence during the investigation. The role of Hakam Singh Rawat, son of Kedar Singh Rawat, District Panchayat member, Jakhol, came to light on the basis of important evidence found during the interrogation of Tanuj Sharma. During the interrogation of Hakam Singh conducted last night, it was found that he had allegedly rigged many recruitments in the past. Hakam Singh had been in regular touch with some copying mafia of Uttar Pradesh. As a result, some people of UP have also come on the radar of the STF and some arrests are likely to be made from UP too. At present two arrested persons are from UP.
SSP STF Ajay Singh said that, following the arrest of the main link in the paper leak case, Hakam Singh, three to four more arrests are likely soon.
Hakam Singh is currently the Zila Panchayat member Jakhol and before that from the year 2008 to the year 2013, he has been the village Pradhan of Liwadi. The STF claims that he played an important role in leaking the graduation level question paper of the year 2021. Hakam Singh is learnt to have shared information about his contacts in UP involved in the scam. It has surfaced that he had taken some of the candidates to Dhampur in district Bijnor in UP where the candidates were given the leaked question paper and also provided the answers. This happened on 4 December, last year. It may be recalled that Tanuj Sharma had also sold the question paper to about 22 candidates the night before the Graduate Level Entrance Test conducted by UKSSSC in December last year. The search for the other accused has intensified now. Search teams have been sent to places for those named by Hakam Singh. Not only this, candidates who paid money for the leaked paper are also like to be interrogated soon and the possibility of their arrest can’t be discounted at present.