Itanagar: In a ‘latest’ development, the Arunachal Pradesh government has decided to call off the swearing-in ceremony of the newly appointed Chairman and Members of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
This decision was taken on Friday in an emergency state cabinet meeting held virtually amid a violent protest and a 12-hour Itanagar bandh enforced by aggrieved APPSC aspirants backed by the general public, informed sources said.
“In view of the request placed by the Arunachal Indigenous Tribes Forum (AITF) (the apex body of major community-based organizations) and Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (a body of the aggrieved APPSC aspirants), the Cabinet has decided to call off the swearing-in-ceremony of the Chairman and Members of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
It was further decided that this matter will be discussed with all Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) and Stakeholders of Arunachal Pradesh,” a note from the Cabinet Secretary said.
However, the protesters stuck to their charter of demands, insisting that the government has to address their grievances while turning down the government’s formula of having further talks at government level.
The dawn-to-dusk bandh call was given in protest against the state government’s alleged indifferent attitude to address the 13-point demand submitted earlier by Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee-APPSC (a body of aggrieved APPSC aspirants).
The PAJSC’s demands include declaring all the exams conducted by the APPSC null and void wherever question papers were leaked, immediate arrest of former APPSC chairman, secretary, members, and all the officials of the Commission, ED and Court-monitored probe, immediate dismissal of State Government officials involved in the cash-for-job scam.
It also demanded the conduction of recruitment examinations by UPSC till the outcome of an ongoing probe into paper leak comes, a three-member committee report on AE (Civil) paper leak be made public, all aggrieved candidates be given compensation of Rs five lakh each, among others.
They added one more demand to their wish list – cancellation of Friday’s scheduled swearing-in of newly appointed APPSC Chairman, Lt Gen (Retd) Shantanu Dayal, and three Members [Col (Retd) Koj Tari, Prof Pradip Lingfa and Rosy Taba], reasoning that Dayal has been appointed to the post for ‘only’ one-year tenure and one of the members has corruption allegations while being in the State Women Commission.
The post of APPSC chairman and members had fallen vacant due to the resignation of the then chairman and members from their respective posts in October 2022 following the APPSC paper leak scandal.
Earlier in the morning, the protesters and security forces personnel deployed at the Raj Bhavan tri-junction engaged in a confrontation resorting to baton-charging and stone-pelting, in which several people from both sides reportedly sustained injuries.
Till the filing of this report, the situation in the state capital was tense but under control, sources said.