Assam exam paper leak letter to PM Modi
Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), a regional party born out of the anti-CAA movement in the state, on Friday drew Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attention to the matric paper-leak case that led to the arrest of 31 people, including the examination centre in-charge.
In a letter to Modi, signed by AJP president Lurinjyoti Gogoi and general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan, the party has tried to make Modi “aware” of the “extreme mismanagement of the affairs” in the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), “resulting in leakage” of High School Leaving Certification question papers and as a fallout of which scheduled exams had to be postponed at the “eleventh hour”.
This has “disturbed the mind, intellect and the preparations of the innocent students and that is certainly going to affect their future prospects”, it said.
“We believe providing quality primary and secondary education is one of the most basic of a government’s responsibility and time and again the government of Assam has failed in providing this,” the letter said, adding the people of Assam, including the students and intelligentsia, have “expressed deep concern” over SEBA’s “irresponsible act” while demanding appropriate action against the wrongdoers, including the SEBA brass.
Urging Modi’s intervention, the AJP has sought a judicial probe and the removal of the SEBA brass without delay.
The letter said: “What’s even more surprising is that the government has arrested some teachers and students to hush up the failure but no action has been initiated against the chairman of the Board or his subordinates.”
“We would request you (PM) to also note that the chief minister of Assam and the education minister of Assam have both taken this matter with extreme callousness and have in fact protected the chairman of the Board and others, including the OCs of the police stations, and have put the blame on the teachers and the students,” the letter said.
When contacted, Bhuyan said the objective of the letter was to apprise the Prime Minister of what was happening in Assam and to ensure corrective measures.
Assam has had a BJP-led coalition government since 2016. AJP was formed on December 17, 2020, three months before the Assembly polls, but could not open its account.
Altogether 31 persons have been arrested since Tuesday, of whom 14 are juveniles.
Till now the state CID, which is probing the case, has detected the leak of two question papers — general science and Assamese (MIL) — the exams for which were scheduled to be held on March 13 and March 18.
The leaks led to the cancellation of both exams by SEBA. Both papers have now been rescheduled for March 30 and April 1, respectively.
While the leak of the general science paper came to light on Sunday evening, Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma announced the leak of the Assamese MIL paper through a tweet on Thursday night. He also advised SEBA to reschedule the MIL paper.
On Thursday, Sarma had in the Assembly said the paper leak should not have happened while taking “full responsibility” for the administration’s failure to prevent the leak.