Opposition parties on Sunday slammed the Assam government and the state police for arresting a youth, who had alleged that corruption was taking place in recruitment to 26,000 Grade III and IV posts, and demanded that the “real culprits” be punished instead of the “whistleblower”.
The youth, identified as Victor Das, had a few days ago tweeted, tagging Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, and claimed that some officials and former MLAs were demanding Rs 3-8 lakh as bribe for giving jobs in the ongoing recruitment exercise.
@gpsinghips @DGPAssamPolice @himantabiswa @CMOfficeAssam
Respected Sir , a huge lobby is running for the backdoor appointment of the recently held ADRE exams where people are demanding money from 3lakhs to 8lakhs depending on the post, also a few ex-MLA is involved.
— Victor Das (@KingV_6768) September 7, 2022
“One Victor Das has been arrested for spreading false rumors and indulging in a conspiracy to foment discord between various sections of society over selection to Government posts,” the Guwahati Police had tweeted.
He was later remanded to seven days of police custody by a local court. The arrest has led to a huge backlash with all the opposition parties criticising the government’s action.
The chief minister said, “These are mentally very weak people who claim that the BJP will benefit by giving jobs. He alleged that former MLAs demanded money, but could not tell any name. He gave some vehicle numbers. Is this a James Bond film where someone comes in a car and demands money?”
A Congress delegation, led by state unit chief Bhupen Kumar Borah, went to meet Das at Panbazar Police Station, but they were not allowed to enter the premises.
“Today with APCC team I was stopped & not allowed to meet Victor Das, who is in police custody, whereas he was the whistleblower. We shall not only fight against the injustice meted to him but also fight for the unemployed youth of the state, reeling under this corrupt BJP govt,” Borah tweeted.
Condemning the arrest, Raijor Dal president Akhil Gogoi alleged there is “no democracy” in the state as complainants are being arrested for highlighting corruption.
AIUDF MLA Rafiqul Islam said the government has chosen to “shoot the messenger instead of punishing the real culprit”.
Sharing a cartoon of Mahatma Gandhi’s three famous monkeys on Twitter, the Aam Aadmi Party’s Assam unit sarcastically said that people should remain mute, deaf and blind when they see any corruption, otherwise the complainant will be sent to jail.
The Assam units of the SFI and DYFI, in a joint statement, said that more doubts have been created by arresting Das.
“The police should have searched for evidence and arrested the culprit, but they are not doing so. We demand a high-level probe into the entire incident,” they added.
More than 14.30 lakh candidates applied to appear for the recruitment examinations against over 26,000 Grade III and IV posts of various government departments, with the examinations scheduled on 21, 28 August and 11 September.
The government came under heavy criticism for suspending mobile internet services in up to 27 districts to prevent possible malpractices during the first two days of written examinations.
On the third and last day of the examinations on Sunday, however, internet services were not disrupted.