PATNA: IAS officers in Bihar on Sunday came out in strong protest against the arrest of one of their colleagues in the BSSC question paper leak case and met Governor Ram Nath Kovind with their grievances.
Nearly 50 IAS officers serving in the State held a three-hour-long meeting in Patna to plan their course of protest against the arrest of Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BPSC) chairman Sudhir Kumar, a 1987-batch IAS officer, in Hazaribagh in neighbouring Jharkhand on Friday.
The Bihar unit of the IAS Officers’ Association held that Sudhir Kumar’s arrest was conducted “in violation of rules” and demanded that the probe into the leak of question papers in BSSC clerical examinations earlier this month be handed over to the CBI. The probe is currently being conducted by a special investigation team (SIT) led by Patna SSP Manu Maharaaj.
At the meeting held at IAS Bhawan in Patna, the central service bureaucrats also resolved that no IAS officer would occupy the post of BSSC chairman that lies vacant, following Sudhir Kumar’s arrest. The IAS Officers’ Association demanded the immediate release of Kumar and decided to wear black badges till the demands were met by the State government.
Significantly, the association also resolved that no IAS officer would comply with verbal orders issued by “any higher office, including the office of the Honourable Chief Minister”.
Both Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who had ordered formation of the SIT to probe the question paper leak case, refused to comment on the delegation of IAS officers meeting the Governor. When journalists asked him, the CM merely said “Pata nahin” (I do not know) before walking ahead. Bihar chief secretary Anjani Kumar Singh, known to be enjoying an excellent rapport with the Chief Minister, also declined to comment on the decision of the association.
What added further complexity to the unfolding scenario was RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav reiterating that he considered Sudhir Kumar an “innocent and upright” bureaucrat. RJD is the largest partner in the three-party coalition government headed by Nitish Kumar. Yadav, however, added that the law would take its own course.
SIT head Manu Maharaaj has said that “scientific, irrefutable evidence” has been collected against Sudhir Kumar. As many as five relatives of Kumar’s had appeared in the recruitment examinations, whose questions were leaked hours before the examinations started. Sudhir Kumar is currently in Phulwarisharif jail in Patna.