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Over 65,000 candidates in 150 centres across 33 districts of Assam on November 22 appeared for the written examination of 597 posts of unarmed Assam police sub-inspectors (SI) for the second time, two months after a massive scam of leaking question paper, officials said.

The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and other agencies including the crime branch are investigating the previous question paper leak scam of recruitment of SI and so far arrested 58 people including former Assam Police DIG Prasanta Kumar Dutta, a superintendent of police rank officer and younger brother of former chief secretary Kumar Sanjit Krishna and ruling Bharatiya Janata Party leader Diban Deka.

The CID sleuths also recovered around Rs 5.37 crore from the state’s three western districts, including Barpeta in connection with the scam. The investigation is being personally supervised by Assam director general of police (DGP) Bhaskarjyoti Mahanta.

On September 20, the State Level Police Recruitment Board (SLPRB) had cancelled the written test a few minutes after it had started after the question paper was leaked on social media.

The opposition parties including Congress and various civil society organisations had accused the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party of operating a job syndicate in various government departments and demanded an inquiry by a sitting high court judge into all recruitments made during the last four-and-a-half year.

On September 12, the then SLPRB chairman Pradeep Kumar, who subsequently quit the post owning moral responsibility, had issued a notification cautioning all concerned specially the candidates against touts and middle men after an audio clip went viral that promised a job of the SI in exchange of Rs 4 lakh.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who directed the CID and the Assam Police Crime Branch to probe the question paper leak scam, said in a statement on November 22 that during the four-and-a-half years rule of the BJP government over 80,000 youths got government jobs on the basis of merit.

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