SSC Exam Scam: Police presence increases even as Rajnath assures relief to protestors
Even as unemployed youth allege that IB officers were infiltrating their protest in Delhi against the alleged leak of SSC exam question papers, Home Minister Rajnath Singh rushed to assure relief
Unemployed youth, whose protest opposite the Staff Selection Commission office in Delhi against the ‘leak’ of SSC exam question papers entered the fourth day on Sunday, have been receiving support from several quarters. On Saturday, Congress leader Deepender Hooda and the National Student’s Union of India joined the protest to express solidarity. On Sunday, it was the turn of Anna Hazare, who told the youth “This is a fight against corruption to strengthen democracy and I stand with you in this protest.”
The atmosphere on Sunday, March 4, was filled with slogans reinforcing the protestors’ demands for a CBI enquiry into the leaking of question papers and answers online. The protestors also talked about alleged police atrocities they had to bear, alleging that the administration tried to hamper their protest through Intelligence Bureau officers mixing among them in civil dress. “We got to know from a few good policemen that a few people from the Intelligence Bureau had joined the protests and they were trying to break us internally. They will try to bring in internal resistance by protesting a cumulative decision we would make,” one of the youth, Aashu told National Herald. “The atrocities we had to go through is irreversible and this protest is not going to stop until there is a full-fledged CBI enquiry ordered into the matter,” he adds. The students even allege that it is not merely a question of ‘leak’ of question papers as the media is reporting, but it is a completely ‘planned scam’ and nothing less than a CBI enquiry, they affirm, is going to calm the situation in the capital.
Talking amongst themselves, a protesting youth asks, “We are right, and our cause is right, now we have even got the media attention, then why does no one in government seem to be listening? Do we (the students) not matter at all?” Another youth adds, “Till now 20 people have been hospitalised, two of them serious. What are they (the government) waiting for? Will they listen to us if one of us commits suicide?” asks another protestor.
“We are living in a country where if a movie (Padmaavat) is not getting released, the courts opens at midnight for hearings, but no one seems to care about the youth who are the future of the country. Youth are dying on the streets for so many days, but no one is listening,” Gagan tells NH.
“Our friends were beaten up by the police initially. They even took one of us and kept him in the station waiting all day. They denied us permission to get a mattress which we can put on the ground. Now, every part of my body hurts,” says a visibly ill youth, Purvesh.
To understand the angst of the youth, hear what this female student, who joined the protest on Sunday morning after travelling from Haryana, has to say.
“Students prepare meticulously for the exam but at the end, ones who are wealthy get admission and the hard-working students with minimal financial back-up suffer. One student, by offering money, attains 188/190 marks out of 200, which is impossible for most of us to cross. The only difference is that he gets his paper solved by someone else by spending, whereas we fail to make the cut-off even when we study meticulously. Hence, I’ve come from Haryana to join the protests,” Jyoti tells NH.
“If this is your criteria, make it transparent. We will also spend our time on collecting money and not studying so that we can also get a seat,” adds a protestor. “Actually, since 2016, they are not even providing us with joining letters. Earlier, when the Congress government was in power, at least joining letters used to arrive on time. Now, someone who gave exams in 2016 has not yet received his joining letter. Unsure and under-confident of his selection, he sits in the exams next time as well and if he gets a joining letter for both the attempts, one seat will be wasted. It is, in fact, for one seat that all of us are protesting today,” Meenakshi explains, who has come from Gurugram to join the protests.
If this is your criteria, make it transparent. We will also spend our time on collecting money and not studying so that we can also get a seat,” says a protestor
In the meanwhile, Home Minister Rajnath Singh has assured protesting students relief by Sunday evening, even as BJP Delhi president Manoj Tiwari joined the protesting students on Sunday afternoon. Tiwari reportedly told the protesters that CBI’s investigation has begun, but the protesting candidates claim that this was merely an assurance and not action.
Neetu Singh, one of the group of 20 odd ‘teachers’ who have been taking turns to ensure that the protest does not become violent, alleged that Manoj Tiwari called her and informed her that CBI was going to arrest her because she supplied food to the protesters and supported them. “That’s what Rajnath Singh is doing for the protesters,” she alleged.
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