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Another member of the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) has been arrested in connection with alleged anomalies in appointments.
Samedur Rahman had been absconding after his PSO Mamud Ali Choudhury was arrested on October 30 for allegedly collecting bribes from candidates appearing in exams conducted by the APSC.
Choudhury was nabbed on the basis of the statement of Nabajit Patir, the first person to be arrested in the case.
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Patir, an assistant engineer with the Town & Country Planning department, was nabbed on October 27 when he was allegedly collecting Rs 10 lakh as bribe on the behalf of APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul. Paul was arrested on November 4.
“We arrested Rahman on Tuesday night after receiving information that he was hiding in his house in Rangiya. A special court has granted us his custody for 14 days,” Addl SP S S Paneser, who is investigating officer in the case, said on Wednesday.
A former NSUI activist who went on to become a college teacher, Rahman quit the Congress in 2006 and became a founder-member of Badruddin Ajmal’s All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF). He unsuccessfully contested the 2006 Assembly elections from the Chenga constituency.
Soon after, he returned to the Congress, with then CM Tarun Gogoi appointing him vice-chairman of the State Integration Council. In 2012, he became a member of the APSC.
Meanwhile, another APSC member has landed in a controversy after he reportedly asked a peon to set on fire heaps of paper that were in his office, a day after Paul’s arrest.
Basanta Kumar Doley, an associate professor of English in Silapathar College, has said: “Those were waste papers, not important papers.”
The police have sent samples of the half-burnt papers for forensic tests.
“We have collected the ash and some portions of the half-burnt papers and sent them to the forensic lab,” said an officer.
The APSC currently has six members. Besides Paul, Rahman and Doley, the other members are Brig Ranjit Borthakur (Retd), Dhruba Hazarika and A K Roy — Hazarika and Roy are retired IAS (promotee) officers of Assam government.
While the APSC has been in news for allegations of irregularities in recruitments for quite a long time, the events leading up to Paul’s arrest began when a woman dentist informed police on October 26 that Patir had contacted her and allegedly asked for Rs 15 lakh on behalf of Paul for a “confirmed” job.