Normal life was affected in Arunachal Pradesh capital on Saturday as the ‘public’ bandh called by the Pan Arunachal Joint Steering Committee (PAJSC-APPSC) to press for fulfilment of 13-point charter of demands related to alleged leak of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission question paper entered the second day.
In the Capital Complex comprising – Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa areas, business establishments, markets, banks, educational institutions, government and private offices remained closed and vehicles kept off the road, a senior police officer said.
Thousands of protestors blocked the NH-415 by burning tyres.
The government temporarily suspended internet services in the Itanagar capital region from 6 pm of Friday to 5 pm of Sunday in the ”interest of public safety”.
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The government order said the step was taken at the request of the director general of police to ”prevent further occurrence of serious law and order problems during the bandh which has taken a serious turn after destruction of police barricades, lathicharge and firing of tear gas shells”.
Scores of protestors and police personnel were injured in subsequent clashes on Friday, which compelled the police to resort to lathicharge and to lob tear gas shells, officials said.
The situation prompted Chief Minister Pema Khandu to call off the oath taking of Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) chairman and members on Friday. He also invited the members of the PAJSC-APPSC to the civil secretariat on Saturday for a discussion. However, the protestors refused the invitation saying that the bandh would continue till all the demands are fulfilled.
The state government on Friday postponed the state board exams for class V, VII and XI, scheduled on Saturday.
An official order stated that the board exams in all schools of the capital region have been postponed and would be held later.
The Committee is demanding that all exams conducted by APPSC of which question papers were allegedly leaked be declared null and void, immediate arrest of the former Commission chairman, secretary, members and other officers, a court-monitored and Enforcement Directorate probe into the fiasco and immediate dismissal of state government officers involved in it.
It also demanded that the recruitment examination be henceforth conducted by the Union Public Service Commission, the report of the three-member committee on AE (Civil) paper leak be made public, the three state government officers posted under APPSC be recalled and all candidates be given compensation of Rs five lakh each.