The Arunachal Pradesh government has reportedly agreed to the 13 demands of the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC). The development comes after two days of unrest in the Itanagar Capital Region (ICR) and weeks of simmering anger among protesters over the lack of adequate action against those involved in the paper leak case.
The ICR, which consists of Itanagar, the state capital, Naharlagun, Nirjuli, and Banderdewa, has been the center of unrest for the past two days. The streets of Itanagar have been deserted, and clashes between protesters and police have resulted in injuries on both sides.
On Thursday, the public announced a bandh to protest against "the lackadaisical attitude of the state government" towards the 13-point charter of demands placed by the PAJSC regarding the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission's (APPSC) cash-for-job scam. The PAJSC has been demanding that the government declare all recruitment examinations conducted by the APPSC 'null and void' wherever question papers were allegedly leaked, the arrest of former APPSC chairman Nipo Nabam, an Enforcement Directorate and Court-monitored probe into the APPSC fiasco, among others.
The announcement of the government's decision to agree to the demands has brought some relief to the protesters. An official statement from the state government is expected to be released soon.
This move by the Arunachal Pradesh government has come as a surprise to many, and it remains to be seen how it will affect the ongoing protests.
The thirteen charter demands of the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee(PAJSC) are as follows:-
1. Immediate arrest of Chairman Shri Nipo Nabam, Secretary Shri Jayanta Kumar Ray, Joint Secretary Suraj Gurung, Joint secretary Nima Tondrang, Deputy Secretary Bate Koyu and members Shri Tsering Naksang, Major General Jarken Gamlin, Ms Mepung Tadar Bage and Major General G. S. Bisht.
2. ED and Court monitored/ judicial probe must be immediately initiated and also the Immediate seizure of the properties/assets (movable or immovable) of all the arrested accused till the completion of investigation process.
3. Immediate dismissal/termination of accused state government officials involved in paper leakage/ malpractices from 2014 till date for free, fair, and transparent investigation.
4. Impartial registrations of complaints and investigations of all the examinations conducted by the APPSC, and all the incumbent members, officials and staff of the commission from 2014 to till date. The Senior Officials above the rank of Mr. Taket Jerang, then the Deputy Controller of examination, must be arrested and dismissed from their respective positions/jobs.
5. Any examination conducted by the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) if found to have any kind of malpractices like paper leakage or other corrupt practices with even a single instance must be immediately declared "NULL AND VOID" and the same must be re- conducted.
6. No examination to be conducted till the completion of the investigation process in entirety and fulfillment of other demands.
7. The Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) must be prepared with the participation of at least 2(two) aspirants.
8. Justice for Ms. Mudang Yabyang (PwD deprived candidate) and the stream- lining of person with disabilities (PwD) section criteria.
9. Whistle Blower act must be brought and implemented within one month providing both protection and rewards for any whistle blower in the state. 10.Until and unless all the aforementioned demands are fulfilled, strictly no examinations are to be conducted by the APPSC. If any examination is to be conducted due to any reason, then the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) must be endorsed for the same.
11. To publish the three members IAS committee report of APPSC AE civil paper leakage issue.
12.Immediate recall of three state government officials posted under APPSC.
13.If the Govt. and the commission adamantly decides to go ahead with any examination process without fulfilling the aforementioned demands, then each aggrieved candidate of any examination till date, affected due to any discrepancies, malpractices, corrupt practices, etc. on the part of the Govt., officials of the APPSC, any person associated with the examination process or any person involved, must be financially compensated with a sum of Rs 5,00,000 (Five Lakhs). Further, each candidate should also be compensated with a sum of Rs 5,00,000 (Five Lakhs) for any examination to be conducted in future, if the respective examination is found to have malpractices and corrupt practices such as paper leakage at the later stages.
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