West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday questioned the impartiality of the Union Public Service Commission, which conducts national-level exams for civil and armed police services, reported PTI. She alleged that the UPSC had asked “politically motivated” questions during the recruitment examination for the Central Armed Police Forces.
Candidates for the exam were asked to write a report on the “poll violence in West Bengal” that erupted after the Assembly elections in the state in April-May. The recruitment examination was held on August 8.
“The UPSC is asking BJP’s questions,” Banerjee alleged, according to NDTV. “UPSC used to be an impartial body but the BJP is giving it questions to ask. Even the question in a UPSC paper on the protest by farmers was politically motivated.”
Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress had won the bitterly-fought Assembly elections. Violence broke out in the state after the results were declared, leading to the deaths of workers from the state’s ruling party as well as the Bharatiya Janata Party. Various news reports put the toll between 11 and 14, but the police did not confirm the numbers. Reports also emerged about sexual assaults on women.
On June 18, the High Court directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a seven-member committee to investigate complaints related to the violence. The court has repeatedly criticised the West Bengal government’s handling of the matter.
The state government, on the other hand, has alleged that the committee was formed to “spearhead a witch hunt” against it. It told the court that members of the committee were either associated with the BJP or had a close connection with the central government.
Banerjee on Thursday said the questions asked during the national examinations show how the BJP has politicised the central forces. “We have seen how CAPF were used to capture booths and kill people at Sitalkuchi in Coochbehar during the Assembly poll in West Bengal,” she said.
On April 10, at least four persons were killed in Sitalkuchi in Cooch Behar after central security forces opened fire at a polling booth during the fourth phase of voting, following a clash with locals. In a separate incident, another person was shot dead after he was dragged outside a polling booth.
On Thursday, the West Bengal chief minister said the question for the recruitment exam was completely unacceptable. “What is the message they [Centre] are trying to send out through this incident?” she asked, according to PTI. “That if you want to work in the central forces, you have to be a yes man of BJP and believe whatever canards they are spreading.”