11,000 examinees affected, CID team rushes to Jorhat, Education minister forms panel to raise security in evaluation centres, SEBA in a fix over re-examition formula
Guwahati/ Jorhat, March 5: Around 11,000 HSLC answer scripts of nine subjects belonging to students of fifteen districts were damaged in the fire at an evaluation centre at Jorhat yesterday, SEBA authorities revealed today.
"So far we have confirmed that 10,889 copies have been burnt. Our officials have not yet concluded their assessment and the number of burnt answer scripts may be more," they said.
The affected students belong to 123 centres spread across Karbi Anglong, Darrang, Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Kamrup, Kamrup (metro), Morigaon, lbari, Barpeta, Baksa, Bongaigaon, Chirang, Goalpara, Dima Hasao and Cachar.
The answer scripts were of Geography, Computer Science, Sanskrit, Hindi, Advance Mathematics, General Mathematics, Social Science, Assamese (MIL) and English papers.
SEBA sources said the board is planning to hold a re-examition in March-end. For those students unwilling to appear, they may be given the highest marks --- he/ she obtained in the other subjects --- in the subject for which their scripts were charred in the fire.
Education minister Sarat Barkataky today chaired a high-level meeting with his officers and decided to form a committee to oversee security arrangement in the evaluation centres.
Meanwhile, as protests continued over the incident, the government today rushed a six-member CID team led by an SSP to Jorhat to probe into the incident.
The fire had broken out yesterday at the library of Sankardev Semiry in Jorhat, one of the evaluation centres. While there was no sign of short-circuit, the district administration and the Education minister had hinted at sabotage, citing rivalry among the school faculty and the headmistress.
Jorhat SP Amanjit Kaur said police will assist the CID team. So far, three cases have been registered against Binu Gogoi Borbaruah, the headmistress of the school who is also the in-charge of the centre.
The SP said the night watchman, his wife, daughters and the school headmistress have been examined and samples of the burnt answer scripts sent for forensic tests.
Initial investigations have also pointed at security lapses on the part of the school authorities as there was only one guard at night instead of the mandated two.