Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Rajasthan: Congress Follows BJP’s Footsteps To Use Bulldozers Against Accused In Paper Leak Case

Rajasthan: Congress Follows BJP’s Footsteps To Use Bulldozers Against Accused In Paper Leak Case

Just like the demolitions in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, a coaching centre of the accused in a question paper leak case was demolished on Monday. Regarding such demolitions in UP and MP, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had earlier said that no one has the right to demolish somebody's house without finding anyone guilty.

Bulldozers demolishing the coaching centre of the accused in Jaipur, Rajasthan
Bulldozers demolishing the coaching centre of the accused in Jaipur, Rajasthan Credit: Tabeenah Anjum

The Congress government followed the footsteps of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and used bulldozers on Monday to demolish properties of accused in a question paper leak case. 

The BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh are known to raze properties of the accused with bulldozers. Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan government on Monday adopted the same method to crack down on accused in the case of leaking 2nd-grade teacher recruitment question paper. A coaching institute run by the main accused was brought down in Jaipur by using bulldozers.

On Monday morning, the enforcement wing of the Jaipur Development Authority (JDA) deployed its teams to the Adhigham coaching centre, situated at the Gopalpura bypass road in Jaipur and run by Bhupi Saran and Suresh Dhaka, the main accused in the paper-leak case. The two absconding and Udaipur Police has declared a bounty of Rs 25,000 on them.

According to Rajasthan Police, in connection with the 2nd-grade teacher competitive examination paper leak, 56 people have been arrested and have been sent to judicial custody. Besides, 46 examinees have been barred for lifetime from taking entrance exams. The police said that the demolition was conducted because of the violation of the law and JDA had served a notice a few days ago before.

Udaipur SP Vikas Sharma told Outlook, “In the question paper leak issue, two cases were registered on December 23, 2022. The coaching centre name Adhigam, situated on Gopalpura Bypass road, was run by Suresh Dhaka, Bhupendra Saran, and others, who are the main accused. The demolition was done because of the violation of the building laws, as the building is an illegal commercial building encroaching on the road.

“As per the preliminary investigation, the mastermind had taken Rs 10 lakh to make the paper available to the candidates.  At least 40 candidates, including experts and invigilators, have been arrested so far.”

On December 25, the date for the 2nd-grade teacher recruitment examination, it was found that some candidates had allegedly got hold of the General Knowledge paper before the examination, which was subsequently postponed by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC). The new date for the examination is January 29, 2022.

Opposition BJP hails the move

The Rajasthan BJP on Monday welcomed the move to demolish the coaching centre. 
Senior BJP leader and Leader of Opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said, “We support this move of demolishing the building. The incidents of the paper leak have brought a bad name to the state and the Congress government should take strict action against the accused and bust the nexus in the crime as eight papers have been leaked so far in the present regime.”

The move of demolition of the coaching centre in Jaipur by the Congress government comes months after the BJP government demolished houses in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone. 

Criticising the demolition which took place in April 2022, Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot had said, “No one has the right to demolish somebody's house, without finding anyone guilty. Even the Prime Minister or the Chief Minister cannot do this without conducting a proper investigation.” 

Activists slam Gehlot government

Activists have slammed the “hypocrisy and double standards” of Gehlot government after it demolished the coaching centre in Jaipur.

In a statement, People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) termed the demolition “vindictive” and “open violation of the law”.

PUCL National President Kavita Srivastava said, “The hypocrisy and double standards of the Ashok Gehlot government were expressed once again today when the bulldozer was used to demolish a section of the property, a running coaching centre of the so-called kingpin now accused in the REET examination paper leak case.

“Most importantly to be vindictive and punish somebody without establishing through law whether the person is an accused/criminal in a case or without giving a chance of legal recourse to challenge the JDA notice or to be heard by the authorities shows the same attitude of the executive being judge, jury and executioner.

“The use of bulldozers to settle scores, doing short cut to ‘justice’ is an open violation of the law. And no Government seated under oath of the Constitution can be permitted to such arbitrary action.”

Meanwhile, the Appellate Tribunal of Jaipur Development Authority directed it to not make any further interference in the structure and asked it to safely remove the debris from the road.