Guwahati, July 18 (IANS) Assam Police on Wednesday arrested 19 government officers for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore cash-for-jobs scam, taking the number of total arrests in the case to 55.
The 19 officials include 13 of the Assam Civil Service (ACS) cadre, three of the Assam Police Service (APS) and three from the allied services cadre.
APS officer Pallabi Sharma, the daughter of Bharatiya Janata Party leader and Lok Sabha MP from Tezpur constituency, R.P. Sharma, is among those arrested.
The Dibrugarh police, who have been probing the cash-for-job scam, had summoned these 19 officials to the Special Branch headquarters of the Assam Police at Kahilipara to collect their handwriting specimen.
It was said that their handwriting specimen would be sent for forensic verification.
All the 19 officers entered the Special Branch headquarters around 10 a.m where they were arrested later.
“We have already collected their handwriting from their offices concerned. We have also carried out forensic tests on their handwriting and matched with those recovered from the fake answer sheets recovered from the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC),” said Dibrugarh Superintendent of Police Goutam Bora.
Bora said the police have enough forensic evidence to prove their involvement in the scam. “Each of these officials had submitted three to five fake answer sheets for the examinations.”
The police had summoned all of them on the pretext of collecting their handwriting specimen as it was feared that the officials might abscond later.
The Assam Police had earlier arrested 36 persons for their involvement in the cash-for-job scam.
These officers had reportedly bribed huge amounts of money to the some members of the Commission, which holds examinations for these plum posts of state service cadres.
The police have also arrested APSC Chairman Rakesh Paul, members Basanta Doley and Samedur Rahman, APSC Examination Controller Pabitra Koibarta and other officials of the Commission for accepting bribes to manipulate the results of examinations.