CHANDIGARH: The Haryana Government today suspended Haryana Staff Selection Commission Chairman (HSSC) chairman Bharat Bhushan Bharti after the recent controversy over the derogatory question on Brahmins in the recent Junior Engineer examinations.
This has left the community in rage with Brahmin Sabha lodging its protest across the state. The decision to suspend the Bharti was taken after Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar held a meeting with Brahmin organisations here.
Haryana Education Minister Ram Bilas Sharma said that since the HSSC is an autonomous body, the inquiry would be conducted by a high-level officer, a retired or sitting judge of high court. Advice of the Advocate General, Haryana, is being sought on this issue. The inquiry commission would submit its report at the earliest. Besides, a case has been being registered against the paper-setter and the publisher, which prepared the question paper, he said and added that Bharti would remain suspended until the inquiry is completed.
As is the practice, the board or the commission issues directions to the company for setting a paper and abstain from using any objectionable language in the questions regarding any community, caste, organization and people. Though the company which was awarded the contract for setting the paper has tendered an apology in writing for the controversial question asked in the written examination for the post of junior engineer, yet the government has blacklisted the company and publisher from all future assignments, Sharma said.
In reply to yet another question, he said the name of the company and the paper-setter could not be disclosed on grounds of secrecy.
When asked who would look after the work of chairman during the suspension period of Mr Bharti, Sharma said an officiating chairman would be appointed for the time being. After the announcement by the Chief Minister today, the youth protesting in different parts of the state had lifted their dharna.
Assuring the community of strict action against those found guilty, Khattar said besides those of the Brahmin community, his sentiments too had been hurt by this incident.
In the examination conducted by the HSSC on April 10 this year, a multiple choice objective question (question number 75) was asked about the Brahmins. "Which one among the following is not a bad sign of omen in Haryana’’ had four options-empty pitchers, a casket full of fuel, meeting with a black Brahmin and sight of a Brahmin girl.
It was termed as a derogatory question and who’s screenshot went viral on the social media, evoking sharp reactions from the opposition parties in the state.
The commission had brought the matter to the notice of the chief examiner who had expressed regret about the derogatory question.