Youngsters protest alleging irregularities in fire and emergency services recruitment process in J&K
The protestors assembled at the press enclave in Srinagar with banners and placards saying 'We want justice.'
SRINAGAR: Scores of youngsters who had applied for various posts in the Jammu and Kashmir fire and emergency services on Saturday, held a demonstration demanding that authorities make public a report of a committee probing alleged irregularities in the recruitment process.
Several political parties, including the BJP, the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party, have also been demanding the cancellation of the selection process and handing over the case to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
One of the demonstrators, Ajaz Ahmad said, "It is unfortunate that even after six months, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has not made public the report of the three-member panel headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Home) R K Goyal probing the alleged irregularities.
The committee was formed in December last year.
Ahmad said, "We have been deliberately pushed out from the selection list. We demand that the report be made public."
"Why is the government hesitating to make the report public? We want the culprits to be punished and the (recruitment) list to be scrapped," Ahmad added.
About 60,000 aspirants had applied for 870 posts of firemen and firemen drivers following a 2013 advertisement.
As many as 14,000 were shortlisted after a physical standard test followed by a written examination by the recruitment board.
However, interviews could not be held in 2014 due to floods and the recruitment process was cancelled in 2017 on the directions of the then chief minister.
The candidates approached the high court which directed the government to hold the recruitment process afresh.
In 2018, a physical test of the 14,000 aspirants was conducted and 7,000 of them passed and appeared for the written examination.
It was again cancelled on court directions amid allegations of irregularities and mass cheating which was substantiated by an official inquiry panel.
A fresh examination was conducted again on September 20, 2020, and the selection list was issued.
The recruitment process was completed the next month despite protests by unsuccessful candidates, alleging irregularities and paper leaks.
The demand for the cancellation of the selection list of the fire and emergency services department gained momentum after the Jammu and Kashmir administration cancelled the police sub-inspector recruitment process in July 2022, and handed over the case to the CBI.