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Arunachal Pradesh Bandh: What Has Happened So Far in APPSC Paper Leak Row?

The bandh called against the alleged paper leak entered the second day on Saturday, 18 February.

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The bandh that was called over an alleged paper leak in the 2022 Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) exam entered the second day on Saturday, 18 February.

How it played out: As normal life came to a standstill – with business establishments, schools, banks, and offices staying shut in the Capital Complex comprising Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli, and Banderdewa areas – a group of 10 protesters met Chief Minister Pema Khandu, as per reports.

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Why was the bandh called? The bandh aimed at pressuring the government into fulfilling a 13-point charter of demands formulated by the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC) in connection with the alleged paper leak.

Earlier, in a letter, the CM had invited the protesters to meet him at his office at the Civil Secretariat to discuss their 13-point demands on Saturday.

The letter stated that the state government was deeply concerned about the "unfortunate" paper leak incident and that it had proactively dealt with the matter.

What has happened so far?

  • Clashes erupted on Friday, 17 February, the first day of the bandh, with several protesters and police personnel facing injuries. The latter also resorted to lathi-charge and tear gas shells to control the crowd.

  • Internet services in Itanagar have been temporarily suspended from 6 pm on Friday till 5 pm on Sunday in the "interest of public safety."

  • Owing to the protest, the chief minister called off the oath-taking of the APPSC chairman and members on Friday.

  • The government also postponed the state board exams for classes 5, 7, and 11, which were scheduled on Saturday.

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What are the PAJSC's demands?

  • The committee demanded that all exams conducted by the APPSC, whose question papers were allegedly leaked, be declared null.

  • The immediate arrest of the former commission chairman, secretary, members, and other officers.

  • A court-monitored Enforcement Directorate probe into the alleged paper leak.

  • The dismissal of state government officials allegedly involved in it.

  • They want the exam to be henceforth conducted by the Union Public Service Commission.

  • They also demanded that the affected candidates be given compensation of Rs 5 lakh each.

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About the paper leak: The paper leak is alleged to have happened before a written examination for the recruitment to the post of assistant engineer (civil) conducted by the APPSC on 26-27 August last year.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in December 2022, registered a case against a person at a coaching institute in Itanagar and unknown officials of the APPSC based on a complaint in this regard.

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Topics:  Arunachal Pradesh   Northeast   Itanagar 

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