Internet services across 27 districts of Assam were suspended for over four hours on Sunday for the second time this month to prevent possible malpractices during written examination for recruitment in various state government departments.
The authorities decided to go ahead with its decision to suspend internet services during exam hours, after the Gauhati High Court refused to stay it following a writ petition against the order.
Besides, prohibitory orders under Section 144 have also been clamped in all the 27 districts where the examinations are being conducted, a senior official said.
More than 14.30 lakh candidates are expected to appear for recruitment of nearly 30,000 Grade-III and -IV posts of various government departments (on August 21, 28 and September 11).
While the Grade-IV tests were held on August 21 in two shifts, the Grade-III examinations are being held on Sunday. The tests for more posts under Grade-III are scheduled for September 11.
All examinations are being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education, Assam (SEBA).
"Last week, internet services were suspended in 26 districts. This time Barpeta has been added to the list," a senior official of the Home and Political Department told PTI.
According to a state government order, mobile internet services will be temporarily stopped from 10 am to 12 noon and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., he said.
On August 17, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that internet services would be suspended during the examination hours to avoid possible malpractices during the recruitment process.
Assam Police said Section 144 of CrPC has been promulgated in and around the examination venues for all the three days in order to hold the examination in "free, fair and transparent manner".
Prohibitory orders have also been imposed within a radius of 100 metre of the SEBA office in Guwahati till the receiving, depositing and scrutinising process of the answer scripts is complete.
The chief minister had on Saturday evening chaired a meeting of senior officials via video conferencing to take stock of the preparation, and asked them to ensure that nobody resorted to unfair means during the examination.