Government job aspirants held a protest on Wednesday against irregularities in a competitive exam conducted by a state-run board and demanded resignation of its chairman and cancellation of the recruitment test in Gujarat.
Nearly 700 protesters were detained in state capital Gandhinagar, where the demonstration was held, police said.
Candidates who had appeared in the November 17 written test conducted by the Gujarat Subordinate Service Selection Board (GSSSB) gathered in Gandhinagar from different parts of the state to demand cancellation of the competitive exam.
The exam was held for recruitment of 3,910 non- secretariat clerks and office assistants in government departments.
More than 10 lakh candidates had applied for the exam, which was marred by cheating complaints, and of these over 6 lakh appeared at centres across Gujarat.
We detained around 700 protesters as they gathered near Satyagrah Chhavni in the state capital to protest, shouting slogans.
"They did not have the permission to organise the protest, Gandhinagar Superintendent of Police Mayur Chavda said.
Aggrieved candidates said the government was dragging its feet on taking action against the culprits engaged in widespread irregularities reported on the day of the exam and alleged it was "trying to shield people connected with the ruling BJP".
The job aspirants said they will not settle for anything less than cancellation of the exam and its reconduct. They also sought resignation of the GSSSB chairman.
As the protest raged and the police detained agitators, Home Minister Pradipsinh Jadeja stepped in and said the board will resolve cases of cheating related to the November 17 test, but ruled out cancellation of the exam.
The opposition Congress, on the other hand, said it will organise a march till the Assembly complex on December 9 if the government failed to cancel the exam.
We have received 39 written complaints and 26 cases of cheating using WhatsApp, as well as cases of cheating captured in videos made public by the Congress party.
"GSSSB is checking CCTV footage of exam centres. The data is huge, but we are in the last stages of finding out the culprits.
"As per the chairman of GSSSB, action will be taken within two days, Jadeja told reporters, while ruling out leak of exam paper as alleged by some candidates.
The Congress threatened widespread protest if the BJP government did not accept its demand to scrap the exam.
When youths seek their rights and take their grievances to the government in Gandhinagar, they are detained by the police and no officer meets them.
"This is not acceptable in Gujarat of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar (Patel), Gujarat Congress president Amit Chavda said.
The Congress is with the youth in their fight for their right.
"On December 9, Congress workers will take along aggrieved youths and march till the Assembly complex to seek Chief Minister Vijay Rupani's reply on why the exam has not been cancelled, and who he seeks to benefit in the name of recruitment, Chavda said.
The Gujarat Assembly's winter session is beginning on December 9.
The opposition party has alleged large-scale irregularities in the exam to favour candidates having links with the ruling BJP.
It also released CCTV footage of two exam centres in Wadhwan town of Surendranagar district to back its claim of irregularities.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)