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Rs 5 cr scam in recruitment of RIs, ARIs, Amins in Bolangir, alleges RTI activist

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev

Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:

A massive scam has taken place in the recruitment of Revenue Inspectors (RIs), Assistant Revenue Inspector (ARIs) and Amins in Bolangir district, prominent RTI activist Pradip Pradhan alleged here on Friday.

The scam worth at least Rs 5 crore had deprived eligible candidates of an opportunity of being recruited in these posts, Pradhan told media persons here.

BOLANGIRI  PRESS MEET

Showing documents obtained using the RTI, the activist sought the intervention of media persons for a simultaneous high level inquiry into the scam to bring out the truth and ensure justice to the eligible candidates.

Lingaraj Putte, one of the deprived eligible candidates of Bolangir, said on December 17, 2011, the office of the Collector and District Magistrate of the district had issued an advertisement inviting applications from suitable candidates, who were residents of the district, for a competitive examination for recruitment to the post of RIs, ARIs and Amins. The advertisement put the number of vacant posts at 54. But the number mysteriously increased to 63 vide letter no.-1732 on December 24, 2011 which was published in newspapers, he said.

Just five days before the written exam, the number of vacant posts again increased to 169 with issuance of a letter-1129 on 4 June 2013 from the Collector office, which was not published in newspapers. Neither were the candidates asked to apply afresh, he said.

Quoting a provision as per which whenever there is an increase of post, it should be published in the newspaper and fresh candidates should be asked to apply, Putte said the district administration had violated this provision and filled up 169 vacant posts illegally.

Another candidate Damodar Mahanand informed that many irregularities had also come to notice in the matter. These were recruitment of candidates from other districts namely Rajesh Kumar Sahu of Sonepur and Benudhar Mirdha of Bargarh, filling of vacant posts of ineligible candidates absent in the physical test during examinations. In some cases, the wrong answers of candidates had been scratched and replaced with correct answers later to give appointment to undeserving candidates, he said.

Mahananda further said it was found through an RTI application that an ineligible candidate namely Siddhartha Kalsai of Bolangir bearing roll number-1263 was given 93 marks against his actual mark 2 by filling the right boxes after the exams.

Pointing out that there was no coding system in the examination as is mandatory, Pradhan said it proved that the results were manipulated by officials of the Bolangir Collectorate. He laid the blame squarely on the then district Collector Deboraj Mishra, now posted as Additional Secretary in the Home department, as he was the nodal officer for the examination and this supervised the examination process.

“On July 2 last year, we had filed a petition with the State’s principal secretary of Revenue and Disaster Management Dr Taradatt along with all relevant documents but did not get any response from him,” Pradhan said, adding “Today, we are here to highlight the issue before media in order to take up the issue before the public and state administration. We demand a high level judicial probe and vigilance inquiry to be made into the scam.”

On being contacted, Mishra refused to say anything on the matter saying he was busy in a meeting in New Delhi.