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Irregularities in teachers' appointment process in Lakhimpur

LAKHIMPUR, Nov 14: At a time when the cash-for-job scam in APSC has provoked sensation in the entire State, similar scam in case of teachers’ appointment on compassion ground in Lakhimpur Elementary Education Office has rocked the district administration. The accused of the scam has gone into hiding without appearing before the enquiry officer. As per information, the District-level Selection Committee of Lakhimpur, on March 16 in 2013, selected nine teacher candidates in order to appoint them in the Elementary Education office and the committee sent the selection list to the State-level committee for due action. The names of the candidates who were selected in the list were Sikhamoni Devi, Jiten Baruah, Porismita Dutta, Utpal Saikia, Rafiqul Islam, Lily Lahon Borah, Mintu Gogoi, Tuhin Chetia and Pankaj Pegu.
Mysteriously, instead of these selected candidates, another six candidates, whose names were not included in the selection list, were considered for appointment in the Elementary Education office in the district.
Former Deputy Commissioner of Lakhimpur, Gaurav Bothra submitted the selection list approved by District-level Selection Committee to the higher authority for their appointment. It is noteworthy that a total of 17 candidates of various departments, including the nine of the Elementary Education, were selected for appointment on compassion ground in the district.
Though the other candidates were appointed, the selected teacher candidates were deprived later. It is suspected that the names of these candidates had been manipulated in the Elementary Education office in Lakhimpur before it was submitted to the State-level committee. The then Deputy Commissioner Debeswar Malakar ordered ADC Dibakar Doley to start a probe into the matter. However, the probe did not develop as the ADC was transferred from the district.
On the other hand, the deprived candidates Sikhamoni Devi and Utpal Saikia filed a case in the high court regarding the issue and the DEEO of Lakhimpur, by an order in September, stopped the salary of those six teachers who secured appointment through an alleged controversial process. Further, the present Lakhimpur Deputy Commissioner also ordered a probe and ADC Mouchumi Baruah has been entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the probe.