Source: Original Story By TheHimalayanTimes
Security personnel deployed after students resorted to vandalism (above); tyres set on fire in the middle of a road, in Birgunj, on Friday, March 29, 2019. Photo: Ram Sarraf/THT
Janakpurdham/Rajbiraj, Mar 29
Cancellation of Secondary Education Examination Science paper yesterday and of Social Studies today after question papers were leaked infuriated students across eight districts of Province 2 where they staged demonstrations.
Province 2 Education Director Ramakanta Sharma said, “As it was confirmed that the question paper of Social Studies under regular category was leaked prior to the exam, we halted today’s exam of the subject for regular students,” he said, adding other exams, including for Social Studies under exempted category, for technical subjects and for grade upgradation, scheduled for the day ran as usual.
Further, Sharma vowed to investigate the question paper leakage. “Leaking question papers before the exam is tantamount to playing with the future of students, which is condemnable by all accounts. We’ll investigate it and bring the truth to light,” he vowed, adding that the exam for the cancelled subject under the regular category has been rescheduled for April 6, a day after the rescheduled exam for Science.
In Janakpur, the headquarters of the province, students picketed the Office of the Chief Minister for some time, while they also held demonstration at Pidari Chowk and Ramananda Chowk and obstructed vehicular movement the entire day today.
Examinee Sunita Sah, who returned home after the cancellation of today’s exam, expressed her frustration over the frequent cancellation of exams. “It doesn’t feel good when we have to return home without appearing in the exam after all the preparations just because someone has leaked the question paper,” she said.
In Parsa’s Birgunj, students also took to vandalism and there were reports of clashes between students and police at different places. Around a dozen students who were injured after police charged batons are said to be undergoing treatment at different hospitals in Birgunj. Irate students burnt tyres and vandalised roadside fences, streetlights and hoarding boards at Ghantaghar Chowk.
Around half a dozen vehicles parked in Birgunj Bus Park were also vandalised. Students also damaged the wall of the district police office, while they also pelted stones at the district education and coordination unit office, District Police Office and Birgunj Metropolis.
According to Deputy Superintendent of Police Anantaram Sharma at District Police Office, Parsa, police had to fire a few tear gas shells and use water cannons to take the situation under control.
In Rautahat, demonstrations were staged at places such as Gaur and Durgabhagawati. In Gaur, students demonstrated by burning tyres and demanded resignation of the chief minister and the education minister of the province. They also obstructed vehicular movement along the East-west highway at Chandranigahapur for some time.
Similarly, protests were also held in Saptari and Bara. In Saptari, demonstrations were held at different places of Rajbiraj. While shops in the bazaar area remained shut for some time due to the demonstration, students trying to vandalize Rajbiraj-based District Education Development Coordination Unit also briefly clashed with the police. In Bara, students took to the streets and demonstrated at places such as Kalaiya Kolhabi, Nijgadh, Simraungadh. Students of Jitpursimara Sub-metropolis chanted slogans against the province government and also obstructed vehicular movements along the Birgunj-Pathalaiya road section for an hour in the morning.
Meanwhile, Province 2 Social Development Minister Nawal Kishor Sah vowed to hunt down the guilty behind question paper leakage. “In fact, the leakage of question papers that came from the centre under strict security of police is doubtful. The provincial government doesn’t have to do much as it is responsible only for conducting, monitoring and managing the exams,” Sah argued.
In the wake of cancellations of two exams in a row, operators of private schools in Janakpur held a press conference and demanded formation of a high-level probe committee to investigate the issue.
N-PABSON Province 2 coordinator Murari Prasad Sah held the federal government responsible for question paper leakage.
Even the ministers of the provincial government held the central government responsible for question paper leakage.
“The leakage of question paper is unfortunate, but it’s not the fault of provincial government,” said Province 2 Minister of Internal Affairs and Law Gyanendra Yadav.
A version of this article appears in print on March 30, 2021 of The Himalayan Times.
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