It was supposed to be a show of strength and unity by candidates complaining of question paper leaks, manipulation of results and unfair selection by the Staff Selection Commission.
While the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is looking into irregularities in examinations held between February 17 and February 21 this year, the candidates are demanding an inquiry into all the examinations conducted by the Commission since 2017. They also demanded the resignation of the Union Minister at the PMO in charge of DoPT (Department of Personnel & Training) Jitendra Singh.
While several thousand candidates congregated on Saturday morning at Parliament Street and were addressed by several speakers, trouble started when they broke through police barricades and tried to march towards Jantar Mantar, for which they did not have permission.
In the morning the young protestors were joined by several parents as well. A mother of two children—"one of whom sits at home even after completing his B Tech and the other in class XII, who awaits to give his CBSE Economics re-examinations on April 25”—was among them.
She told NH, “only I know how I’ve brought up my children. But now they have to come to the streets to fight for what is their right ? What does Modiji want these children to do? Sell pakodas? Why then did we educate our children, after spending all of our earnings?”
A protesting candidate said, “from Gandhi Maidan in Patna to CGO Complex in New Delhi, we protested for 18 days. But they (the government) still failed to respond. ”
“Hum ye nahi kehte ki hum bina mehnat ke naukri chahte hain. Hum bol rahe hain ki barabri ka mauka to do, (We are not demanding jobs without tests; all we demand is equal opportunity)” JNU Students’ Union President Geeta Kumari said while addressing the protestors.
Three of the candidates fell sick after police action on Saturday. Protestors were taken away in more than four buses by the police.
Watch: Security forces chase and beat up protestors incessantly
Candidates from Bihar, Delhi, Jammu, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, among other places, gathered along with some parents and teachers, demanding a time bound CBI inquiry of all the examinations since 2017.
• Independent & Time Bound CBI Investigation of all the exams being conducted by SSC
• Form an expert committee to take suggestions from students for systemic reforms in SSC
• If the Minister of DoPT is unable to meet genuine demands of SSC students than he must Resign.