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Senior Assam official held over graft

| MANOJ ANAND
Published : Nov 5, 2016, 7:22 am IST
Updated : Nov 5, 2016, 7:22 am IST

A day after the arrest of an assistant engineer of the town and country-planning department for accepting the Rs 10-lakh bribe from a job aspirant, the Assam Police on Friday arrested the Assam Public

A day after the arrest of an assistant engineer of the town and country-planning department for accepting the Rs 10-lakh bribe from a job aspirant, the Assam Police on Friday arrested the Assam Public Service Commission chairman Rakesh Paul, who is accused to have been a part of the extortion from job-seekers in the state.

The police on Thursday arrested Nabakanta Patir accepting the bribe from one Anshumita Gogoi, a private dental surgeon from Amguri town in Sivasagar district, at his rented house. The police said that Ms Gogoi had recently appeared for the Assam Public Service Commission dental surgeon recruitment examination, 2016, held to fill up 60 posts in the health and family welfare department. Mr Patir, whom she happened to get introduced to, guaranteed recruitment in exchange of Rs 15 lakh. Ms Gogoi raised Rs 10 lakh from friends and relatives and decided to handover the money on Thursday. At the last minute, though, she changed her mind and approached the police instead. She fixed a meeting with Mr Patir and led a police team headed by Dibrugarh SP Gautam Borah to the engineer.

Mr Patir in his confession revealed his nexus with the Assam Public Service Commission chairman, following which the police arrested Mr Paul from Dibrugarh on Friday.

Mr Paul was in thick of major controversies since his appointment as the chairman by then chief minister Tarun Gogoi. Mr Paul, who is said to have very influential nexus in the Congress party, was selected for the post on the recommendation of very senior Congress leaders. The Gauhati HC also directed the Assam government to appoint a retired judge to inquire into alleged anomalies in last civil services examinations conducted by the state Public Service Commission.

A division bench of the HC, comprising Chief Justice (acting) K. Sreedhar Rao and Justice P.K. Saikia, had also directed the CBI to make a preliminary enquiry into the allegations of corruption and assets disproportionate to the known sources of income of current APSC chairman Rakesh Paul and his kith and kin and submit a report before the court. However, Mr Paul had got a stay on the Gauhati HC order from the apex court.