SSC Recruitment Scam: Protests spread across the country

Protests by unemployed youth against the Staff Selection Commission recruitment scam spread on Monday to different parts of the country even as the Government assured them of a CBI inquiry

NH Photo by Vikrant Jha
NH Photo by Vikrant Jha

Vikrant Jha

On Monday, protests against the ‘Staff Selection Commission (SSC) recruitment scam’ snowballed and spread from Delhi to Patna, Bhopal, Allahabad, Lucknow, Jaipur, Chandigarh, Hisar, Bangalore, Bikaner and Kurukshetra, even as the SSC and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh claimed that with the Government accepting the demand for a CBI inquiry, the issue had been resolved.

BJP tweeted pictures of a delegation of protesting unemployed youth calling on the SSC chairman in the company of Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, and the party’s social media team went into an overdrive to claim that the protests had been withdrawn.

But the situation outside the SSC office near the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in central Delhi on Monday afternoon, however, told a different story.

The protesters claimed that the ruling party was bluffing and told National Herald that what they wanted was a comprehensive inquiry by CBI into the SSC and all the examinations conducted by it in 2017. They also wanted a time-bound inquiry during which all pending examinations should remain suspended, they said.

One of their main grievances are against the private vendors engaged by the SSC to conduct the online examinations. They not only question the selection of vendors but also allege that many of these vendors issue sub-contracts to even cyber cafes and dubious agencies, which facilitate the ‘cheating mafia’ to get access to the system.

The candidates claimed that the SSC seemed to conduct little or no post-mortem of the exams and paid no heed to the complaints of irregularities submitted by them. They demanded inclusion of candidates’ representatives in the SSC, or a body within the SSC to act as a bridge between the candidates and the SSC to ensure that the grievances get addressed.

Academic and activist Yogendra Yadav tweeted his support, reaffirming the demands of the protestors. “Government order needs to be made public, so that we know what the scope of the probe is”; Is it “limited only to CGL or covers all exams and all forms of irregularities?”; “Is the inquiry time bound,” the Swaraj India party chief asked. He added, “Will the SSC continue to hold exams with its dubious practices when the probe is on?”

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh too assured protestors of a CBI inquiry and urged them to call off the protests, but the protestors remained unimpressed.

“First of all, there is only a recommendation that has been sent to the Department of Personnel and Training by the SSC for a CBI inquiry and there is no written statement confirming that the matter has been handed over to the investigating agency. Second, this is not all of our demands, but just a part of it,” allege protestors while talking to NH. “The media is being used as a tool to spread lies, our demands have not been met and the protests will continue,” they declared.

The protestors allege foul play by the SSC as they say, “media is being used to stop the protestors by propagation of false news. Our protests have not stopped, it (the offered CBI inquiry) is not a win for us but just 5% of our demands have been met,” claimed a protester.

They, in fact, alleged that out of the five of them who were in the delegation that went along with BJP Delhi Chief Manoj Tiwari, only one returned but refused to speak about what happened in the meeting. “One of them later confirmed that he had received threats and was under pressure to withdraw from the agitation,” alleged a protester.

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