Ruckus in Assam Assembly over paper leak

NewsDrum Desk
17 Mar 2023

Guwahati, Mar 17 (PTI) Noisy scenes prevailed in the Assam Assembly on Friday over the leak of question papers for class 10 state board examinations with the opposition demanding a statement from the government, which rejected the call.

Immediately after the Question Hour, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia raised the matter in the House and asked the government to come out with a statement.

"Yesterday again, one more paper was leaked. So far, the government has said General Science and Assamese papers have been leaked. There are allegations that Mathematics and English papers were leaked as well. Have all papers been leaked?" he asked.

On Thursday night, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said the Assamese paper has also been leaked, and advised the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA), which conducts the exams, to cancel the test and reschedule it.

Late at night, Education Minister Ranoj Pegu said the examinations for the Assamese paper as well as other MIL (Modern Indian Language) subjects and English were cancelled. These exams will now take place on April 1.

Earlier, the General Science question paper of the class 10 exam was leaked on March 12 night, and the exam scheduled on the next day was cancelled thereafter. According to a SEBA notification, the examination for the subject will now be held on March 30.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika condemned the leak and said the mastermind has been nabbed within three days.

"We are also taking steps so that such incidents never recur in the future. The CM has already made a statement in the assembly yesterday. I do not think there is a need to give any more statements," he added.

When Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha pointed out that the CM has accepted the failure of the government, Hazarika and other members of the treasury opposed the statement.

This led to a noisy scene, followed by a verbal duel between Purkayastha and Hazarika.

After this, Pegu said, "Yesterday, the CM said police have arrested the mastermind, who confessed to leaking the General Science paper. He also told the police that the Assamese paper was taken away, but burnt it before leaking it." The government did not want to take any risk and the CM suggested rescheduling of the examination, and accordingly tests for all MIL and English papers will now take place on new dates, he added.

Sarma had conceded in the assembly that the General Science question paper leak episode was a "failure" of his government.

"The matric paper leak should not have happened. It shows our failure. I accept my failure," Sarma told the House.

Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain again asked the government if other papers of the High School Leaving Certificate (HSLC) were leaked as alleged by some people.

"There is no information that other papers were also leaked, the police have not got any such information. So, there is no question of cancelling or rescheduling the other papers," Hazarika said. PTI TR ACD ACD

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