Normal life was affected on February 18 in the Arunachal Pradesh capital Itanagar and nearby areas after a 12-hour shutdown was called by the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC), seeking fulfilment of the 13-point demands related to the contended leak of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) question paper.
Protests were staged across the city against the leakage of question papers before the written examination for reclamation to the post of Assistant Engineer ( Civil) conducted by the APPSC on August 26 and 27 last time.
Whereas on February 17, the PAJSC observed a 'mass movement' in the capital region comprising-- Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa. Due to the agitation, the business establishments, banks, educational institutions, and government and private sector offices remained closed.
On the other hand, thousands of protesters had blocked National Highway- 415 and burnt vehicle tyres. Whereas, the government of Arunachal Pradesh suspended Internet services in the capital region till the evening of February 19.
According to the officials, on the direction of Chief Minister Pema Khandu, the oath-taking ceremony of the new APPSC president and members was postponed on February 17. On February 18 the Chief Minister called the PAJSC leaders to discuss their demands. Whereas the protesters denied meeting the CM stating that they would not meet the CM until their demands were fulfilled.
The PAJSC is demanding that all examinations conducted by the APPSC of which question papers were allegedly blurted should be cancelled while seeking immediate arrest of the former Commission chairman and other officers and also asking for a court-covered Enforcement Directorate inquiry into the paper leak and the involvement.
It also demanded the reclamation examination be conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, and not the APPSC. It also sought to make the report of the three-member commission on the Assistant Engineer (Civil) paper leak case public and compensation of Rs 5 lakh for all campaigners.
The Central Bureau of Investigation( CBI) is probing the APPSC test paper leak case and has lately filed a charge sheet against eight indicted before a Special CBI court in Arunachal Pradesh.