Ministers’ kin among 21 arrested in Assam cash-for-jobs scam
Two of the arrested are relatives of junior railway minister Rajen Gohain and former state minister Sumitra Patir.india Updated: Nov 10, 2017 22:11 IST
Three more gazetted officers, including the relative of a Union minister, surrendered in the Assam cash-for-jobs scam on Friday, taking the number of arrested officers to 21 even as four others have been declared absconders.
The Sarbananda Sonowal-led coalition government had on Monday night begun its crackdown against the 2013 batch officers of Assam Civil Service (ACS) and Assam Police Service who had allegedly bribed Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) officials to get their jobs.
Altogether, 25 officers were found to have bribed former APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and others in the commission to be selected for the jobs through doctored answer-scripts. Paul was arrested in November last year.
“Three civil service officers, including two women, were arrested after they surrendered today (Friday),” Assam’s director general of police Mukesh Sahay said.
Investigating officers said the two women are relatives of junior railway minister Rajen Gohain and former state minister Sumitra Patir of Congress.
Among the absconders is the son of former Assam minister Nilamoni Sen Deka, also of Congress.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said people had voted for BJP and its allies because of “our resolve to root out corruption”.
He also hinted at initiating action against 18 IAS and IPS officers of the Assam-Meghalaya cadre facing charges ranging from attempted murder to forgery and fiscal indiscipline.
The police in eastern Assam’s Dibrugarh district had exposed the cash-for-jobs scam in the APSC after catching Nabakanta Patir, an assistant engineer, red-handed accepting a bribe of Rs 10 lakh from a dentist.
The assistant engineer had approached the dentist promising her a job through APSC for the demanded amount, which he said would be shared with many in the commission. She tipped off the police leading to his arrest.
Nabakanta Patir’s confession led to the arrest of an APSC member’s personal security officer. Interrogation revealed the two were working as conduits in the sale of jobs.
APSC chief Paul and five others in the commission were arrested in November and December last year. Three officers found to have bought their jobs were dismissed from their jobs in May.