The Gujarat government’s competitive examination for the recruitment of junior clerks was cancelled hours before it was scheduled on Sunday over its question paper leak and police detained a suspect in this connection, the state panchayat exam board said. As many as 9.5 lakh candidates had registered for the exam for 1,181 posts which were to be held at 2,995 centres across the state.
Based on a tip-off, police detained a suspect and recovered a copy of the question paper of the exam early Sunday morning, after which the Gujarat Panchayat Service Selection Board decided to “postpone” the exam in the wider interest of the candidates, the board said in a statement. The police were investigating the matter, it said.
“The junior clerk (administrative/accounting) exam was to be conducted in different districts between 11 am and 12 noon on January 29. As per the information received from the police early Sunday morning, they detained a suspect and upon his interrogation seized a copy of the question paper from his possession,” the board said in the statement.
The board expressed regret for the inconvenience caused to the candidates and informed them not to go to the examination centres.
“The examination will be conducted afresh at the earliest, for which the board will issue a new advertisement,” it said.
Gujarat Congress spokesperson Manish Doshi claimed this was the 15th government competitive exam which was cancelled in the last 12 years because of question paper leak. “The government claims to be taking strict action, but the main culprits have not even been arrested. The government is playing with the future of youth of the state,” he alleged. Doshi claimed the exam, for which the first advertisement was issued in 2016, was cancelled for the third time.
Gujarat Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) president Isudan Gadhvi took to Twitter to target the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the state over the paper leak issue. Gujarat had been marred by a number of cases of competitive exam question papers leak that led to widespread agitation by the youth in the state.
The BJP government had faced strong opposition from the Congress and the AAP over the issue ahead of the state Assembly elections held last month. During the poll campaigning in the state, AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal had even promised to bring a strict law against exam papers leak with a provision of ten-year jail term