HUBBALLI/KALABURAGI: anger over the non-exclusion of Kannada in a bank exam and presence of aspirants from other states led to some candidates from Karnataka boycotting the exam and staging protests in parts of the state, especially Hubballi and Kalaburagi, on Saturday.
The test was being conducted by the Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) on September 9 and 10 to fill over 9,000 posts in rural banks in Karnataka. About 1,000 of the 3,000 candidates could not write the exam held in Hubballi-Dharwad, including one batch from Andhra Pradesh. In Kalaburagi too, two of the four batches of candidates could not write the exam due to the protests.
Following reports that candidates from AP were prevented from writing the exam, Chief Minister of the neighbouring state N Chandrababu Naidu took the matter up with the Karnataka government.
In both districts, candidates staged a protest after boycotting the recruitment test seeking priority for aspirants from Karnataka as the selection is for banks in the state. In Hubballi, aspirants pelted stones at the premises of a private educational institute, which was the exam venue, leading police to resort to minor caning to disperse the protesters.
One candidate even tried to commit suicide by slashing his arm. The agitators claimed that candidates from other states, especially Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, were stealing jobs of candidates from Karnataka. More than 300 police personnel including the DCP, three ACPs and 10 Police Inspectors were rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.
As exam was scheduled in four batches on Saturday, students in the first batch from AP and TS missed the opportunity to write the exam. But following police intervention, candidates of the second batch from the Telugu states were able to write the exam, while Karnataka candidates did not.
‘Candidates can rewrite exam’
Hubballi Commissioner MN Nagaraj who contacted IBPS officials in New Delhi told protesting candidates that those who could not write the exam will get another chance to take it. The new date will be announced by the IBPS. Karnataka Vikas Grameen Bank officers corroborated this. “Candidates who could not write the exam have sent an email to IBPS requesting them to hold it again, explaining the circumstances. The candidates have to mention their roll number, name and examination centre,” said an officer of KVGB.