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Arunachal: Bandh Called off, Govt agrees to demands of protestors

ITANAGAR-  The Bandh called off after the Arunachal Pradesh government has agreed to the 13-point demands of the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC), fighting the paper leak issue of the state public service commission, PTI reported.

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The development came after two days of unrest in the state capital since Friday, over the lack of adequate action against those involved in the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) cash-for-job scam.

The decision to agree to the demands, arrived after 8 hours long discussion between state government, representatives of PAJSC, All Nyishi Students Union (ANSU), Nari Shakti and activist Sol Dodum late on Saturday night at civil secretariat here.

Chief Minister Pema Khandu, Home Minister Bamang Felix, Water Resource Development Minister Mama Natung were present along with senior bureaucrats in the meeting.

According to the minutes of the meeting made available, the government responded positively to most of the 13 point demands for which, the protestors have withdrawn the bandh call from Sunday.

The government informed that the chairman, secretary and members officials of APPSC from 2014 to 2022 and any other official/private person are already under the purview of investigation. Based on the findings of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken by the investigating agency, CBI.

The state government had written to the Gauhati High Court to designate District and Sessions Court Yupia (or any other District and Sessions Court) as a Special Fast-Track Court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases. The high court has positively responded and agreed to designate district and sessions court Yupia as a special fast-track court to take up the APPSC paper leak cases.

The government has agreed to recommend setting up of a standing grievance redressal committee and institutional mechanism to deal with the grievances of the candidates and aspirants.

Further, they agreed to place a demand to the government of India within a month for a high-level enquiry committee headed by a retired SC or HC Judge for examinations wherever paper leak took place from 2014-2022.

On the request of the aspirants, the state government will formally write to Enforcement Directorate to investigate all incumbents in the APPSC from 2014-2022 within this month.

The government also announced that whistleblower Gyamar Padang will be recognized appropriately for his contribution.

For the last two days, the streets of the state capital wore a deserted look with business establishments, markets, banks, educational institutions, government and private offices remained closed and vehicles kept off the road.

Thousands of protestors blocked the NH-415 by burning tyres. The state capital on Friday also witnessed clashes between protesters and police, causing injuries on both sides. As many as ten persons were injured.

Faced with large scale demonstrations by aggrieved aspirants and their family members on Friday, the government had temporarily suspended internet services in the capital region from 6 pm of Friday to 5 pm of Sunday in the “interest of public safety”.

The situation prompted Chief Minister Pema Khandu to call off the oath taking of Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) chairman and members on Friday.

The state government had also postponed the state board exams for class 5, 7 and 11, scheduled on Saturday.

An official order stated that the board exams in all schools of the capital region have been postponed and would be held later.

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