Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Saturday welcomed the decision of Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan to constitute a Special Inquiry Committee to probe the allegations of alleged irregularities in the recruitments made in the Vidhan Sabha. The Chief Minister said that “I am confident that this inquiry committee will clarify every fact related to the subject. Our government is determined to make Uttarakhand corruption-free.”
Amid the row over appointments in Uttarakhand Assembly Secretariat, Chief Minister Dhami on Thursday urged Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri to conduct a high-level inquiry into the matter. In his letter to Ritu Khanduri, Dhami urged to cancel these appointments if irregularities were found.
The Chief Minister also urged to make provision for fair and transparent appointments in the Assembly Secretariat in future. Dhami said the state government has been taking steps to thoroughly investigate the irregularities done in the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission and take action against the culprits.
Meanwhile, the Uttarkhand Special Task Force on Thursday informed that one police constable was arrested in the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSSC) paper leak case. The police constable Vinod Joshi was arrested on the basis of the evidence available.”During the investigation of the case related to the UKSSSC question paper leak case, on the basis of the statements and evidence of the accused and witnesses arrested earlier, today accused Vinod Joshi resident of Sitarganj Udham Singh Nagar was arrested on the basis of evidence,” said Ajay Singh, Senior Superintendent of Police, STF Uttarkhand.
He further said that the accused Vinod Joshi is currently posted in Uttarakhand Police in the Udham Singh Nagar district while Manoj Joshi, brother of the accused was in the post of Junior Assistant and was arrested earlier. Joshi is currently in judicial custody. The SSP further said that the accused Vinod Joshi, along with his brother, was provided with a house in Kundeshwari a night before the examination to several candidates in VDO/VPDO recruitment where the question paper was solved at night by other accused.
Along with this, he has been arrested on the evidence of taking several examinees from one place to another in his car. Notably, several selected candidates in the graduation-level examination from the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission met Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in the Secretariat, said the officials on Tuesday.
The Chief Minister said that the candidates who have passed the examination with utmost sincerity and hard work will not be allowed to be disappointed. “Wherever complaints of irregularities are being received in the recruitment of Subordinate Services Selection Commission, we have ordered a strict inquiry. Some cases have been given to STF and some vigilance has been appointed. Not a single culprit will be spared,” CM Dhami had said.
Earlier on Sunday, CM Dhami confirmed a discussion with the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in connection with the irregularities reported in the Uttrakhand Subordinate Service Selection Commission (UKSSSC) paper leak case. “Since the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha is a constitutional body, I will speak to the Speaker of Legislative Assembly in regards to the reported irregularities,” CM Dhami told ANI.
He further added that the inquiry will be conducted into all the appointments made in Uttarkhand Vidhan Sabha, irrespective of the tenure. “All the appointments, in past or present, wherever the discrepancies have been reported should have unbiased inquiries,” he said mentioning that there should be a fair probe in the matter of the recruitments done this way.He has also assured the government’s cooperation for further details and investigation in the UKSSSC paper leak case n 2021. On August 23, Hakam Singh Rawat, the mastermind who was arrested in connection with the UKSSSC question paper leak was also accused of using the government resources for his personal use.
Rawat was arrested earlier this month for allegedly taking money from candidates for providing solved question papers in the graduate-level examination held on December 4 and 5 last year.It was alleged that Rawat, the Uttarkashi panchayat member had asked for a government helicopter to transport his ailing mother for her treatment. It has also been alleged that his mother was treated at government expense by the Disaster Management Relief Fund.
Notably, Special Task Force (STF) detained Rawat in connection with the issue on August 13 from Arakot on the Himachal border for questioning. The case pertains to a written exam conducted by the Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSC) in December 2021. This was one of the major examinations conducted by the commission for 854 posts across 13 departments.
However, there were widespread allegations that there were irregularities in the conduct of the test. Following these allegations, Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami called for a probe and strict action against those guilty. Following this, the secretary of the commission was removed from the post. A Special Task Force (STF) was also constituted to investigate the alleged irregularities. Initially, the Dehradun police registered a case against the unidentified accused. After that, the Police Headquarters (PHQ) handed over the investigation to the STF.
Since then, 20 people have been arrested in the case. These include some prominent names like district panchayat member Hakam Singh. Singh was arrested near the Mori area near the Himachal Pradesh border after he returned to the country from a trip abroad on August 7. Gaurav Chauhan, an Additional Private Secretary working in the Public Works and Forest Department of State Secretariat, was also arrested in connection with the case. Also, several officials and directors of a Lucknow-based printing press were called for questioning. This came after a staffer of the company was named a prime accused in the case post-arrest. (ANI)
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