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APSC scam accused suspended

Guwahati: Dispur has placed Assam Civil Service (ACS) officer Avisika Baruah under suspension after she confessed of being guilty and an approver in the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) cash-for-job scam.

Baruah, who was posted as the circle officer at Nazira in Sivasagar district, had allegedly secured her job through illegal means.

She had recently offered to become an approver expressing her repentance and intended to give her statement, on her own volition, in order to assist police as an approver in the case.

Dibrugarh police, who are investigating the scam, recently recorded her statement under Section 161 CrPC and her statement prima facie reveals her involvement in the criminal conspiracy.

After perusing the report submitted by Dibrugarh police, the personnel department withdrew her service from the revenue and disaster management department and put her under suspension pending initiation of departmental proceedings against her.

Her suspension comes a few days after leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia, questioned why she was not suspended even when she had admitted to securing her job through unfair means.

Avisika, who had cleared the combined competitive examination conducted by the APSC for the year 2013-14, had expressed her willingness to turn approver after Dibrugarh police interrogated her and collected her handwriting specimen last month for forensic examination.

The investigators had allegedly found discrepancies in her answer script, which was seized from the APSC office.

"She apparently agreed to become an approver fearing arrest," a source said.

The case was registered by Dibrugarh police in 2016, when a job aspirant, Anshumita Gogoi, lodged a complaint saying Nabakanta Patir, an engineer, had offered her a government job through the APSC if she paid a bribe. Her complaint led to the arrest of Patir and based on his confession, the then APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul was arrested in November 2016.

Paul's petition seeking bail in another case registered against him at Bhangagarh police station here came up for hearing in Gauhati High Court on Monday but the hearing remained inconclusive. The court will hear his bail plea again on Wednesday.

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