What is the PSI scam that has triggered political storm in Karnataka?
The entrance examination to fill 545 vacant posts of police sub-inspector (PSI) was conducted in October last year. Suspicions arose about some candidates allegedly using fraudulent means to score well in the exam.
The Police Sub Inspector (PSI) recruitment scam, the case pertaining to alleged irregularities in the recruitment of sub-inspectors has triggered a political storm in Karnataka. Till July 7, at least 65 people including additional director general of police Amrit Paul, deputy superintendents of police, inspectors, a few other police personnel, a BJP leader Divya Hagaragi, who owned the Jnana Jyothi English Medium School in Kalaburagi and the gunman of a Congress MLA have been arrested, PTI reported.
But how did this mega recruitment scam unfold and what has happened so far? Let us tell you in ten points.
- In October last year, the examinations for the recruitment of police sub- inspectors posts were held. As many as 545 candidates cleared the exam in January this year from a group of 54,287 candidates who had written the exam.
- Irregularities came to the fore after it was revealed that several candidates had used fraudulent means to score well in the examination. Kalaburagi district turned out to be the epicentre of the scam, as it was the exam centre from where most of the rankers emerged.
- Divya Hagaragi, the former BJP women unit president in Kalaburagi, owned the Jnana Jyothi English School, which served as an examination centre for the PSI recruitment exam in October 2021. She was arrested in April and has been charged for facilitating cheating at her school. Her school teachers who were posted as invigilators had allegedly filled in answers on Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) sheets after the examination was over.
- In April, the Karnataka government handed over the case to the Criminal Investigation Department. On April 29, the CID probe pointed at a large-scale rigging, forcing the state government to withdraw the exam results and announce a fresh examination.
- On June 10, the CID arrested exam topper Kushal Kumar J for allegedly tampering with his optical mark recognition (OMR) sheet. The probe officials said that Kumar reportedly scored 137.25 marks out of his total score of 167.75 from the objective part of the questionnaire, which was allegedly tampered with. He had secured the first rank which was set for a total of 200 marks.
- On July 4, additional director general of police (ADGP), recruitment, Amrit Paul was arrested. He is the highest-ranking police officer arrested in connection with the case and is in police custody since then. The Karnataka Police has sought court nod to conduct a narco-analysis test on him.
- On July 7, the CID had filed a chargesheet in the case naming 34 people. Besides BJP leader Divya Hagaragi, thee chargesheet also mentioned Rudragouda Patil, an agent who played a central role in the fixing of the exam, along with his brother and local Congress functionary Mahantesh Patil.
- The Congress has been on streets demanding the resignation of Karnataka home minister Araga Jnanendra in the case. The Congress even staged a dharna outside Vidhana Soudha on July 7.
- Amid the political slugfest, the Karnataka high court questioned the Basavaraj Bommai government, if the lower rung offices can investigate the case boldly when an ADGP-rank IPS officer is an accused.
- Karnataka assembly leader of opposition and former chief minister Siddaramaiah demanded the resignation of CM Basavaraj Bommai, accusing the government of trying to cover-up the case, PTI reported. Bommai hit back, saying, "When Siddaramaiah was the Chief Minister, the question paper of the police sub-inspector recruitment exam leaked from Kalaburagi. Did he resign then? Going by this parameter, Siddaramaiah should have resigned many times."