APSC cash-for- job scam: Police should not bog down under pressure

Assam Police recently arrested as many as 22 officers recruited by the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) for their alleged involvement in a cash-for-jobs scam. The officers included those from Assam Police Service (APS), Assam Civil Service (ACS) and allied services posted in various districts.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal commended the police for the “achievement against corruption” and stated that the “government has adopted a zero-tolerance policy against corruption and the fight against corruption will continue.” Sonowal also added that none of the officers who had secured jobs through bribery would be spared.

According to Assam Police sources, the arrests were made after the forensic laboratory matched their handwriting with the fake answer scripts. Here it is important to draw into the attention that the police had last year arrested APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and members of the commission, including Samedur Rahman and Basanta Kumar Doley, and three other officials of the commission who allegedly took money for selecting candidates for the state services.

The breakthrough in the cash-for-jobs scam took place last year after a police team in Dibrugarh led by additional superintendent of police SS Panesar arrested an engineer of the town and country planning department while accepting a bribe. This can be described as the biggest move against corruption by the Sarbananda Sonowal-led BJP government in Assam.

The move deserves applause. But this is just a start, the next will be more crucial for the investigators. Because there surely will be a political angle to the entire corruption net. They may try to deviate the line of investigation or try to make it weaker. Hence, the government should provide free-hands to the investigating team. If the confessions of the arrested officials bring out without any biasness then it should be easier to reach out the roots of the truth. The police also should not just stop at making arrests; they get into the root of the investigation and book all those involved in the nefarious job racket.

While police is doing a good job, this is also impossible to assume that such a deep-rooted racket could flourish without taking the blessings from the government officials or the political power achievers. It is preposterous to believe that there were only a few individuals who lead all this scam. So the investigation should go beyond the arrest of the chairperson, members of APSC and all those who took job on bribe. Then only they can reach out to the root of the scam.

But, how far the investigator’s team can lead their investigation without political pressure? However, the common people are happy with this bold step taken up by the Assam Police and likewise each and every citizen wants that the investigation should lead in a proper way and APSC should be completely cleaned up.

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Basanta Nirola is a MA in Political Science from Bodoland University, Kokrajhar. He belongs to Samar Dalani in Biswanath district of Assam. He can be reached through: