By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 1 Aug: The Special Task Force (STF) of Uttarakhand Police late last night arrested one more government official, this time from Nainital District, in relation with the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSSC) scam. The latest arrest has been made from Kashipur and the arrested person is Mahendra Chauhan, who is posted as a junior assistant in the court of Nainital’s Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM). The accused has been arrested on the basis of evidence after a long round of interrogation of those who had been arrested previously by the STF. With his arrest, the total number of arrests in connection with the UKSSSC scam has gone up to 12 and, as per sources in the STF, more arrests are likely soon.
Among those arrested in the scam so far also include two police officials and all the indications available so far point towards a large network. Of course, all the arrests made so far have been of junior officials but the bigger question is whether such a big scam involving huge sums of money related to recruitments to class 3 posts in the state was possible without involvement of bigger officials. This scam was related to the leakage of Question Paper for the Graduate Level Entrance Examination but there now appears to be a strong possibility that such leakage could have happened in other recruitments as well. The role of the STF and the promptness with which investigations have made headway and arrests made along with recovery of huge cash is praiseworthy and DGP Uttarakhand, Ashok Kumar has praised the STF’s performance in the case. The STF has arrested 12 people within a week in the paper leak case and more arrests are likely soon.
According to STF SSP Ajay Singh, the investigation is being done in the Kumaon region on the basis of the interrogation and evidence provided by the accused. The STF team is presently camping there.
According to the STF, many more arrests can be made in this case. More than a dozen persons are also being questioned and their role is also being probed.
Indications are that along with those behind the scam, many candidates who paid money to the scamsters to get the leaked question paper are also likely to face interrogation and possible arrest. Many of them might be made prosecution witnesses later on. Such scams result not only in the meritorious candidates being wrongfully deprived of the opportunity to serve the state and the government but also lead to incompetent and dishonest candidates getting selected. The current scam is a pointer towards the existence of a huge network extending from Garhwal to Kumaon even to the other states as it had links to the printing press that printed the leaked question paper. So far, cash worth Rs 85 lakhs has been recovered from those arrested, which is also an indication of the amount involved in the scam. It may be pertinent to remind here that the STF has also arrested two police personnel, including the gunner of the Kumaon SP.
While most recruitments on class three posts in the state were being made on the basis of performance in a single objective type question paper, which lacks the ability to test anyone’s in-depth knowledge on any subject, the UKSSSC has now rightly decided to change the pattern of the recruitment. It will be a two stage process now. While, the preliminary examination will still be an objective type question paper, the mains will include subjective type of questions to test the depth of knowledge. UKSSC has also removed outsourced company RMS Techno Solution India Private Limited from important responsibilities related to the conduct of the examination after the paper leak incident came to the fore in the graduation level examination.