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Six Agriculture Development officials quizzed at Guwahati Dispur PS

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ADO recruitment controversy


GUWAHATI, July 27: Altogether six Agriculture Development Officers (ADOs) on Friday appeared before the Investigating Officer (IO) ACP Sujit Saikia at Dispur Police Station, in connection with the Bhangagarh Police Station case no 159/17.

Following the four-hour-long interrogation, none of the six ADOs accepted that they were at fault.

Though summons were served to 19 ADOs on Thursday, eight of them were asked to report on Friday. But only six were present. The two ADOs who remained absent today were Mausami Saikia and Bidyut Kumar Das.
Earlier on July 14, the IO had interrogated eight of the 10 ADOs summoned. The total ADOs interrogated in the case till date are 14.

The case is with respect to the persons concerned acquiring the ADO job by paying bribes. Bedanta Bikash Das, a candidate who had also appeared in the examination lodged an FIR at the Bhangagarh police station alleging that a bribe amounting to Rs 15 lakh against a post of ADO was demanded from him.

Das made the allegation against former Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) Chairman Rakesh Paul and a junior engineer of the Soil Conservation Department, Mofidul Islam in the FIR.

The advertisement for the ADO posts had been published on April 4, 2013, and the screening test and the viva voce held in August 2015. The result of the selection test had been declared on February 4, 2016.

Investigating agencies had sent 1,075 optical mark recognition (OMR) sheets of candidates, who appeared in the examination to recruit ADOs, for forensic analysis following suspicion of tampering of the sheets to favour some candidates. Besides the OMR sheets, an attendance list and marksheets were also sent for forensic examination. Forensic report revealed that answer scripts of 27 ADOs were allegedly altered and also marks enhanced.
Suspended APSC chairman Rakesh Kumar Paul and APSC employee Sayed Musharraf Hussain were also arrested by Bhangagarh police in August last year for allegedly demanding Rs 15 lakh from Das, for an ADO post.
City police had also arrested suspended member of APSC Basanta Kumar Doley in the case related to alleged irregularities in selection of ADOs.