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APSC scam nets 2 more officials

Police on the hunt for seven more accused as Sonowal talks tough on corruption

Kamal Debnath and Sudipta Goswami Bhattacharjee being produced in court in Guwahati on Thursday. Pictures by UB Photos

Guwahati: Two more gazetted officers of Assam were arrested on Thursday for allegedly securing their jobs through the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) by illegal means taking the number of arrested officials to 18.

Assam Civil Service (ACS) officer Kamal Debnath, who is the Dhemaji circle officer, surrendered before police here on Thursday morning while Dhubri labour inspector Jyotirmoy Adhikary was arrested from his Bongaigaon residence in the afternoon.

Debnath, Assam Police Service (APS) officer Dilip Kumar Kalita and Hailakandi employment officer Sudipta Goswami Bhattacharjee were produced before special judge, Assam, A. Bhattacharyya, in the evening and sent to police custody for 14 days.

Bhattacharjee was arrested in Hailakandi on Wednesday and brought here at night while Kalita surrendered before the police here on Wednesday night.

The police said seven more officers were yet to be arrested for their involvement in the scam. ACS officer Nisha Moni Deka, who is allegedly evading arrest, moved the special court on Thursday for pre-arrest bail. The court directed the police to submit the case diary by November 22 when her bail plea will be heard.

According to the police, all these officers of the 2013 batch had got their jobs by bribing former APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and his associates.

The case was registered by Dibrugarh police in October 2016, when a job aspirant Anshumita Gogoi lodged a complaint that engineer Nabakanta Patir had offered her a government job through the APSC if she paid a bribe of Rs 10 lakh. Police laid a trap and caught Patir while accepting money from Anshumita. Based on Patir's confession, Paul was arrested on November 4 last year.

Police said the arrests were made after forensic examination confirmed anomalies in the answer scripts of 25 candidates, including the arrested ones. "These answer scripts were seized from the examination branch of APSC and sent for forensic examination based on the confession made by arrested assistant controller of examinations Pabitra Koibarta," a source said.

Forensic experts found the seized answer scripts were duplicate and the signatures of invigilators/examiners and scrutinisers were forged.

The police claimed that Paul had himself put marks in the duplicate answer scripts and forged the signatures.

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