29 May 2017 | Last updated 02:31 PM

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Senior IAS officer’s arrest in govt job racket shocks Bihar
Dheeraj Kumar | Friday, 24 February 2017 AT 10:39 PM IST
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Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the government job scam in Bihar arrested a senior IAS officer and Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC) chairman Sudhir Kumar from Jharkhand`s Hazaribagh district in the wee hours of Friday. This has shocked the establishment in Patna.

Chief of the SIT and Patna Senior Police Superintendent Manu Maharaj said that Kumar’s brother Professor Awadhesh Kumar and his wife were arrested from their residence in the state capital. The SIT also took his two nephews into custody for interrogation. Kumar’s five relatives had appeared in the BSSC’s intermediate level examinations, which were marred by leakage of question papers and other irregularities.

BSSC’s Intermediate level examinations for government jobs were cancelled after SIT had confirmed the leakage of question papers ahead of examinations. The first two rounds of the BSSC intermediate level examination were conducted amid reports of leakage of question papers and supply of correct answers to candidates through sophisticated communication gadgets.

While the first two phases of the examination were held on January 29 and February 5, the remaining two phases were scheduled for February 12 and February 19. After the arrest of Kumar, his father and wife cried foul alleging that the IAS officer had been falsely implicated in the case.

But Patna Zonal IG NH Khan, who is monitoring the probe, claimed that the SIT had clinching evidences against the senior IAS officer, linking him with the question paper leak racket.
Kumar, a 1987 IAS officer, was quizzed by the SIT earlier through a questionnaire and his replies to various queries were found unsatisfactory.

Soon after the scam was unearthed, Kumar had dropped a bombshell by disclosing that that he used to receive recommendations and calls from politicians and officers for extending favour to their candidates for appointments to various clerical level posts. He had also claimed that politicians even visited his office on several occasions to exert pressure on him and ensure that he did their work even under duress.

Earlier, SIT had arrested BSSC Secretary Parmeshwar Ram on February 8 for his alleged involvement in the government job racket. During interrogation, he had named two ministers, who were linked to the scam, and also claimed that several legislators were involved in it. He was put under suspension following his arrest. More than two dozen people had been arrested in the case so far.

Meanwhile, Bihar IAS Officers’ Association has taken a strong exception to the arrest of Kumar. Interestingly, RJD chief Lalu Prasad threw his weight behind IAS officer Kumar describing him as an honest and hard working officer.

All facts would be known once police investigation is over, he added. The Chief of Hindustan Awami Morcha, a constituent of NDA and former chief minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi alleged that Kumar was arrested in haste and also claimed that Dalit officers were being discriminated under the present dispensation.

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