Amid growing allegations of irregularities and regional bias in the first ever major officer-rank recruitment in J&K since 2019, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Thursday ordered an inquiry headed by the Additional Chief Secretary, Home.
“For the last two-three days, newspapers have been reporting against the conduct of the Sub-Inspector selection process by the J&K Service Selection Board (JKSSB). We have decided to constitute a committee headed by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, R. K. Goyal that will probe into the matter and submit its report in a time bound manner,” the Lt. Governor said.
He said no questions were raised during any other recruitment done so far. “If there is any apprehension and doubt in the minds of the people, then it is the duty of the administration to carry out an impartial inquiry and take necessary action. If any irregularity is revealed in the probe, the process shall be cancelled and fresh recruitment will be made,” L-G Sinha said.
The J&K home department had three days ago put out the merit list of 1200 sub-inspector aspirants who had applied last year. The examination was held on March 3, 2022.
There were allegations from aspirants on several counts, including corruption and bias. A dropped candidate accused the J&KSSRB of taking money against recruitment. “There were cases where two members of a family figured in the selection list. At least 27 families have more than one selection in the list,” he alleged.
Sunil Dimple, a political activist from Jammu, said “There is a possibility of one or two families having more than two candidates selected, but not dozens of families. The CBI should do an inquiry into the selection to provide justice to the aspirants,” Dimple said.
An aspirant from the Kashmir division alleged that around 90 per cent of the selected aspirants are from a particular region and a particular faith. “Muslim candidates figured only in double digits in the selection list of 1200,” the aspirant alleged.
CPI(M) leader Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami expressed “serious concern” at the alleged irregularities. “The result reeks of gross irregularities. It seems that the results have been skewed in favour of influential candidates, with scant regard for merit,” Mr. Tarigami alleged.
He said the allegations had been levelled by the aspirants at a time when the unemployment graph in Jammu and Kashmir had shot up significantly.
According to the J&K government figures, a record number of posts had been referred to the premier recruiting agencies like J&K Public Service Commission and J&K Service Selection Board. However, nearly 10,000 candidates were appointed, including around 8000 Class-IV, since J&K was reduced to a Union Territory (UT) and the special constitutional position was diluted in 2019.
The SI selection was the L-G administration’s first major recruitment drive since 2019.