Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has threatened to invoke the stringent National Security Act (NSA) against those involved in leaking papers of competitive exams.
Signalling tough action to deal with frequent paper-leak cases in the state, Adityanath said, "The exams should be transparent and corruption-free. The government will not tolerate those trying to play with the future of the youths.” “Strict action will be taken against those who pollute the examination process," an official spokesman said Wednesday, quoting the chief minister.
"The NSA will be invoked against those involved in paper leaks and if discrepancies are committed by the agencies involved in the process, they will be blacklisted and legal action will be taken against them," Adityanath was quoted as saying.
The UP government has held out the NSA threat in the past while mentioning efforts to deal with cow slaughter, power theft, insult to the national anthem and circulation of fake currency.
Last month, the Gautam Buddh Nagar district administration invoked the law against the alleged sand mining kingpin for building an illegal dam on the Yamuna.
The NSA allows preventive detention for months, if the authorities are satisfied that the person is a threat to national security or law and order.
Adityanath also directed officials heading recruitment boards to ensure that vacancies in their departments are filled without much delay.
The chief minister’s warning against paper leaks comes days after the state’s special task force arrested 11 people for their alleged role in the leakage of questions papers for the tubewell operators’ recruitment test organised by the UP Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UPSSSC).
The paper leak led to the cancellation of the examination and the UPSSSC said it will now prepare at least two sets of question papers to deal with such cases.
On July 29, the police arrested 51 people from different parts of the state for facilitating cheating during a examination for the recruitment of assistant teachers.
Nineteen people were arrested on June 18 for allegedly aiding cheating through hi-tech devices and placing "solvers" impersonating aspirants in the state’s constable recruitment examination.
Among the cases where the NSA has been actually invoked in the state is that of Dalit leader and Bhim Army founder Chandrashekhar Azad, who was arrested in June 2017 for his alleged role in the Saharanpur riots.