The Haryana Government has decided to set up a high-level inquiry commission to investigate the issue of a question pertaining to Brahmins in an examination conducted by the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC). Besides, it has also been decided to register an FIR against the Delhi-based company, the paper-setter, and the publisher.

Disclosing this at a press conference here today, the Education Minister, Mr Ram Bilas Sharma, said the HSSC Chairman, Mr Bharat Bhushan Bharti, would remain suspended until the inquiry was completed.

Mr Sharma said prominent people of the Brahmin community had met the Chief Minister, Mr Manohar Lal, earlier in the day and demanded action against the guilty. While respecting the sentiments of the community, the Chief Minister announced the decision to constitute a high-level inquiry commission, registration of an FIR against the company, the paper-setter and the publisher, and said that Mr Bharti would remain suspended till the completion of the inquiry.

Assuring the community of strict action against those found guilty, the Chief Minister said besides those of the Brahmin community, his sentiments too had been hurt by this incident. MLAs, MPs and representatives of the Brahmin community thanked the Chief Minister for these decisions.

In reply to a question, Mr Sharma said since the HSSC is an autonomous body, the inquiry would be conducted by a high-level officer, a retired or sitting judge of high court. Advice of the Advocate General, Haryana, is being sought on this issue. The inquiry commission would submit its report at the earliest.

As is the practice, the board or the commission issues directions to the company for setting a paper and abstain from using any objectionable language in the questions regarding any community, caste, organization and people. Though the company which was awarded the contract for setting the paper has tendered an apology in writing for the controversial question asked in the written examination for the post of junior engineer, yet the government has blacklisted the company and publisher from all future assignments, Mr Sharma said.

In reply to yet another question, he said the name of the company and the paper-setter could not be disclosed on grounds of secrecy.

When asked who would look after the work of chairman during the suspension period of Mr Bharti, Mr Sharma said an officiating chairman would be appointed for the time being. After the announcement by the Chief Minister today, the youth protesting in different parts of the state had lifted their dharna.

Apart from Lt Gen D.P. Vats (retd), MLAs namely Mr Naresh Kaushik, Mr Moolchand Sharma, Mr Naresh Kaushik, Mr Tek Chand Sharma and Mr Dinesh Kaushik are among those who met the Chief Minister on this issue, Mr Sharma added.


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