EC’s office assistant post: 14 applicants pass without taking exams

Mobarak Hossain of Dinajpur is one of the applicants for ‘office assistant’ post in election commission (EC). Mobarak ‘passed’ both MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) and written examinations.

Mobarak came to EC headquarters in the city’s Agargaon on 20 July to take part in the viva voce. He failed to answer to any question correctly at the viva, giving rise to suspicion about his credentials by the recruitment board.

At one point of being quizzed by the recruitment board, Mobarak blurted out, “Sir, I did not take any exams (MCQ and written). Someone else took those exams on my behalf.”

Mobarak in writting confessed to this fraud to the EC. Mobarak said he struck a deal with a person for Tk 1.4 million to clear the MCQ and written exams for him. As per the deal, Mobarak himself did not take part in the two exams. Someone else sat for the exams for him and made him pass both. Mobarak had already paid Tk 700,000 as per the deal.

The EC on 20 July filed a forgery case against Mobarak with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station. Mobarak’s brother Mobassherul, who works as gardener of election training institute (ETI), was also accused in the case. EC handed them over to the police.

The EC detained 13 more such candidates on allegation of clearing the exams by the same fraudulent means. EC’s senior assistant secretary Md Nazmul Kabir has filed a total of eight cases over such fraudulence.

“We detained 14 people who did not take part in the exams but passed in exchange of money. We handed them over to police and filed cases. We are trying to identify if there is someone else who took to same forgery,” Nazmul Kabir told Prothom Alo on Wednesday.

EC office said a circular for recruiting 178 people as office assistant was published three years ago. The minimum educational qualification to apply for the post was SSC. A total of 131,000 applicants applied online against the posts. The MCQ exams were held at various centers in Dhaka on 31 March. The candidates who cleared the MCQ test qualified for written test that was one 19 May. The viva voce started in July is still being held.
Several EC officials told Prothom Alo that some candidates who got good marks in the MCQ and written examinations were found not able to answer any question correctly in the viva voce. Answer sheets of MCQ and written exams of such candidates were. Thus these 14 candidates were identified. All of them confessed to the EC that someone else sat for MCQ and written tests on behalf of them.

Analysing the depositions of these 14 persons, it was found that they had made deal worth a total of Tk 16 million and already spent Tk 9 million. Some of the candidates spent as much as Tk 1.2 million already.
Sher e Bangla Nagar police station’s officer in charge Utpal Barua told Prothom Alo last night that all accused persons would be brought to book. Police would seek remand for those already accused and arrested.

Persons involved with forgery at large

The arrested 14 persons in their depositions mentioned the names and phone numbers of the persons involved with the forgery. They also mentioned the amount of money for contract and amount already spent. But none of these men behind the forgery have been arrested.
Mobarak confessed he had made a contract with a person named Raju to get him clear the MCQ and written exams for Tk 1.4 million.

Another arrested applicant named Hafizur Rahman in his confessional statement said an unknown person appeared in MCQ and written exams on behalf of him with help from Pallab Hossain and Sohagh. He spent Tk 500,000 for this.

Arrested applicant Palash Chandra said an unknown person appeared in the exams for him with help of Bacchu and Faruque. Palash had made the deal for Tk 1.6 million and already spent Tk 1.2 million.

Nur Mohammad confessed that an unknown person with help from Shahjahan appeared for exams. He had signed the deal for Tk 700,000.
An applicant named Abdullah said an unknown person appeared in the exams for him Tk 1.4 million. A person named Motaleb mediated the deal. Abdullah had already spent Tk 1.2 million. Candidate Tarikuzzaman said in his confession that an unknown person appeared for exams for him with the help of Noor Nabi and Sarwar of Rangpur. A deal of 1.2 million was made and he has already paid Tk 700,000.

Sirajganj’s Sathi Khatun said an unknown person appeared for her exams
with the help of Joynal and Nazim. She had already spent Tk 500,000 of Tk 1.2 million deal.

Raqibul Islam from Kurigram said an unknown person appeared for exams for him with help of Shamsul Alam. He has already paid Tk 1 million out of Tk 1.4 million.

Barishal’s Shah Alma said an unknown person sat for exams on his behalf at a deal of Tk 1 million. He has paid half of the amount.

According to the confessions, Thakurgaon’s applicant Zahirul Islam has passed the exams for a contract of Tk 1 million, Ratan Kumar of Kurigram has cleared the exams for a contract of Tk 1.4 million, Shakil Uddin of Patuakhali passed exams for Tk 1.4 million, Moshiur Rahman of Nilphamari passed the exams for Tk 1.2 million and Ripon Islam passed the exams for Tk 1 million.

EC sources said the applicants apply for the recruitment online. The applicants collect admit cards from online. The EC has the list of applicants with their photographs. Yet, how someone else could sat for the exams instead of real candidates have raised eyebrow. The EC’s related sources could not give any satisfactory explanation to this question.    

EC secretariat’s senior secretary Nazmul Kabir said the list of candidates with their photographs was sent to every exam center. How someone else sat for exams instead of the real candidates is a matter of investigation. How can such forgery take place and who were behind this would be revealed soon in police investigation.

Tejgaon division police’s deputy commissioner (DC) HM Azimul Haque told Prothom Alo yesterday, “We will bring everyone involved in the incident to book.”