File photo: Arunachal Pradesh CM Pema Khandu

Asserting that violence was not a solution but only peaceful talks can bring solution to the APPSC paper leak imbroglio, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu has invited the agitating members of Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC) to his Civil Secretariat office in Itanagar on February 18 for a discussion and hammer out solutions to their charter of demands.

“Looking at the turn of events, chief minister has invited and requested your presence at 11 am on February 18 at 6th floor, State Civil Secretariat to deliberate all your issues in the matter and reach a solution which is in the larger interest of the state,” commissioner to chief minister, S Chombay wrote to PAJSC chairman Techi Puru.

Khandu said the state government intended to overhaul the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission and give reprieve to innocent aspirants who unfortunately became victims of the APPSC paper leakage scam.

He further said that respecting the sentiment of the public, the government has called off the scheduled oath taking ceremony of the designated chairman and members of APPSC.

“Our intention was only to overhaul the commission and give reprieve to innocent aspirants who unfortunately became victims of the paper leakage scam. With that intention we gave advertisement for filling up the posts of chairman and members of the commission and followed it up with the laid down norms for formation of a commission and make it functional as soon as possible,” Khandu said.

“We believed that formation of the commission by swearing in of the new chairman and members would be for public good as it would pave way for conduction of examinations and offer aspirants a fair opportunity without wasting much time,” he said.

“However, it has come to our notice that several aspirants, their parents and the general public are not in agreement with the steps we were taking and therefore came out on the streets to protest. Respecting their sentiment, the government has decided to call-off the scheduled oath taking ceremony. We will decide further action in this regard after detailed consultations with all stakeholders,” Khandu added.

Khandu reiterated that revelation of the paper leakage scam was equally shocking to the government as to the general public.

He said that the government dealt the situation with iron hand from day one and the special investigation cell (SIC) of the state vigilance department was given a free hand to investigate the case and apprehend all who had a hand in it irrespective of power or position.

“The SIC was doing a commendable job as proved by the many arrests that it made. However, as demanded by the general public for a free and impartial enquiry by an independent and credible agency, we decided and requested the CBI to take over the investigations. CBI has taken over the case from the SIC and investigations are on. All persons involved will be punished sooner or later,” he assured.

The chief minister also reiterated that the government cannot interfere in the functioning of the commission as it is an autonomous body.

“It became evident to us that complete overhauling of the commission and reframing its standard operating procedures (SOP) is the only way forward to regain the faith of the people in the commission. Therefore, to set the ball rolling, all members of the erstwhile commission resigned on moral ground,” he said.

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