'Cash-for-jobs scam' surfaces in Assam, 10 arrested

'Cash-for-jobs scam' surfaces in Assam, 10 arrested

The accused had allegedly taken money from several candidates who had appeared for recruitment exam

 Representative image. Credit: iStock Photo

At least 10 persons were arrested in Assam on Saturday in connection with an alleged cash-for-jobs scam in the state-run Assam Power Distribution Company Limited (APDCL) that came to light recently.

The accused had allegedly taken money from several candidates who had appeared for written examination conducted in February and April in 2019 for recruitment of office-cum-field assistant, sahayak and light vehicle drivers. They promised them the jobs. The results of the examination were awaited. 

The arrests were made by sleuths of Chief Minister's Vigilance Cell following investigation into information provided by a person on September 15 alleging illegality and irregularity in the recruitment process. The informant alleged that two accused, Himangshu Kumar Das, estate officer of Gauhati University, and Sasanka Saikia, a lower division assistant of the university even promised the job in lieu of Rs 3 lakh.

Also read: Assam's drive to evict 'illegal settlers' to continue despite killings and Opposition's anger

Informing about the arrests, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told reporters in Guwahati that investigation so far revealed that the accused were in touch with at least 278 candidates. "Even several answer sheets and answer keys were recovered from one of the accused persons. Keeping in mind the incriminating evidence we have gathered so far, I have advised the board of APDCL to re-conduct the examination for fair recruitment," he said. 

"We had asked Gauhati University to carry out a review of the process adopted during the written examinations but it was found that the university had hired the same private firm which had conducted the examination for APDCL. The GU should have hired a differnent organisation for carrying out the review," he said. 

Two staffs of Gauhati University, Sasanka Saikia, a lower division assistant, and Babilan Saikia, a private security man, were among those arrested so far in connection with the case. Others are: Dipankar Dihingia, officer-on special duty of APDCL chairman, Dulumoni Deka, Farha Alam, Jayanta Deka, Kankan Sarma, Biswajit Barua, Kaushik Das (all from NEICOM, a private firm engaged by APDCL) and Tridip Sarma, an outsourced person by Gauhati University. 

A case was registered by the Chief Minister's Vigilance Cell on Friday. 

Check out the latest videos from DH:

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox