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regular-article-logo Monday, 27 May 2024

Hill job protest intensifies

Demand grows for CBI probe into frequent question paper leaks

Piyush Srivastava Lucknow Published 11.02.23, 03:08 AM
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat during a protest of the unemployed youths in Dehradun on Friday

Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat during a protest of the unemployed youths in Dehradun on Friday PTI

Unemployed youths on Friday organised dharnas across BJP-ruled Uttarakhand to protest the lathicharge on agitators in state capital Dehradun a day earlier, intensifying their demand for a CBI probe into frequent leaks of question papers of competitive exams.

In Haldwani, the protesters sat on the ground and recited the Bhagwad Gita in the morning and then marched to the collectorate where the police stopped them forcibly. Youths took out a procession in Kotdwar city and chanted slogans against the BJP government.

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Some burnt effigies of the state government in Vikas Nagar while others took out a symbolic funeral procession of the Pushkar Singh Dhami government and the Uttarakhand Public Service Commission in Ranibagh, Nainital.

In Dehradun, where over 1 lakh youths had converged on Thursday to protest the police lathi-charge on a group of women protesters in the dead of the night, a large number reached on Friday in tractor-trolleys and motorcycles to support those on a dharna at Gandhi Park. However, they were stopped about 500 metres from the park.

“We will not leave Dehradun till our demand for a CBI probe under the supervision of a high court judge to expose those involved in frequent examination paper leaks is met. We believe that some in the government are directly involved in the leaks and chief minister Dhami is under pressure to protect them,” said Ratnesh Joshi, a youth from Rishikesh who reached Dehradun on Friday morning on his motorcycle.

The Opposition Congress threw its weight behind the protesters by organising a procession in Dehradun on Friday in support of the unemployed youths and demanding that those behind the paper leaks be brought to book.

While the Dhami government had imposed prohibitory orders under CrPC Section 144 at Gandhi Park and a periphery of 300sqm, Congressmen led by former chief minister Harish Rawat tried to march to the cordoned-off area in groups, but were stopped by the police.

“The way the government is suppressing the voices of the unemployed youths is unprecedented. Their simple demand is for a probe for the punishment of those involved in leaking exam papers. Those who have been arrested so far are small fries. We all know that almost every exam paper has been leaked in Uttarakhand in the past few years. We have gathered here to support our youths,” Rawat said.

Rawat fell unconscious during the protest and was hospitalised.

While thousands of youths were detained on Thursday, Daleep Singh, senior superintendent of police of Dehradun, was quoted as saying that 13 persons had been arrested on the charge of damaging public properties and preventing the police from doing their duty.

“The government has assured that justice will be done to the youths. They should return to their homes and wait for further action against the wrong-doers. Anti-social elements are taking advantage of the youths to attack the police and damage properties,” Singh said.

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