The Telegraph
Friday , December 7 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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AASU salvo against Seba

Guwahati, Dec. 6: The All Assam Students’ Union today threatened a massive agitation across the state in protest against the “dirty” power tussle between the chairman and secretary of the Board of Secondary Education, Assam.

Dispur has already asked additional chief secretary Jitesh Khosla to go into the board’s affairs and submit a report within a month.

Shantikam Hazarika and Basanta Kumar Das hold the posts of chairman and secretary of Seba respectively.

Sources said the tussle has its origin in the debate on who should call the shots in the board.

AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya told reporters here that the power tussle has reached such a pass that it may cause serious disruptions in holding the matric and high madarsa examinations in February.

He said the top brass of Seba has lost its moral right to remain in the posts and should quit immediately for the sake of the greater interest of students.

“A letter written by B.K. Das to the secretary of secondary education on November 26 shows how the power tussle has adversely affected the functioning of the board. Das, in his letter, said a chaotic situation might arise at any point of time and affect the matric examination schedule or even cause the exam to be postponed,” Bhattacharyya said.

Nearly four lakh students will appear in the matric and Assam high madarsa examinations, scheduled to commence from February 20.

In the letter, Das washed his hands of any problem that will arise in the smooth conduct of the matric examination if the chairman is allowed to function according to his own whims and fancies.

“Chief minister Tarun Gogoi and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma must take the letter seriously, as there is a danger that the academic career of lakhs of students might be spoiled. There are several examples exposing the contradictory stands of the chairman and secretary on very important matters of the board. It seems that personal egos and differences will make students the scapegoat,” he said.

Bhattacharyya said the education minister wrote to the board in July and publicly announced that the matric examinees would receive their admit cards three months before the exams.

He said according to the announcement, the examinees should have got their admit cards by November 19.

“No examinee has yet received the admit cards. There is every possibility of disruption in the smooth conduct of the examination if corrective measures are not initiated on a war footing. AASU will not be a mute spectator and allow Seba to play with lives of students,” he said.

The AASU leaders have made it clear that if Dispur fails to do away with the power tussle, it will be forced to launch an agitation. They also questioned the status of implementation of the Seba reforms project.

Hazarika and Das could not be contacted.

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