Close on the heels of candidates being stripped to their underwear in Bihar during last month’s written exams for clerical positions in the Indian Army, a similar incident has come to light in which young men who had appeared for the post of drivers and other constabulary posts in the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), were made to sit under the scorching sun for five hours and were not even allowed to move from their place to either eat, drink or relieve themselves. This incident, too, has been reported from Bihar.
According to candidates who had applied for various posts in CRPF, they were asked to report to their respective states of domicile for the physical and written tests. One such candidate who is staying in East Delhi, but is a resident of Bihar, had applied for the said post. He was asked to report to the CRPF camp at Muzaffarpur on Sitamarhi road in the last week of March.
“These recruitment drives were conducted all over the country and based on their domicile, the candidates were asked to appear at various centres for the physical test. I, along with others, reached the test venue at 8 am in the morning. Once we reached the centre, we were herded inside and asked to sit on the open ground for four-five hours. We were not allowed to move from the place, nor were we allowed to eat or drink or even use the washroom. Some of the candidates who discreetly went to the washroom were beaten up with sticks after they came back. Naturally, not many of us were able to clear the physical test because of the condition we were in by that time,” the 24-year-old candidate said.
These exams were conducted over a period of one week between the last week of March and the first week of April. On 31 March, the appendix of one of the candidates who had appeared for the test, burst after which he was transferred to the nearby hospital managed by the CRPF in Muzaffarpur. “Since none of us were allowed to go to relieve ourselves, we were in much discomfort and as soon as we were asked to run, one person collapsed and later we learnt that his appendix had burst,” another candidate, who appeared for the test, said.
The candidates also alleged that while the vacancy notification had stated that applicants for the post of “constable driver” would be required to run 800 metres, they were in fact asked to run 5 km in 24 minutes. “None of us had come prepared for that. When we told the officials about the advertisement, they abused us and asked us to either run 5 km or opt out. I took the test, but could not clear it as I had not come prepared for it,” said one of the candidates who appeared for the test on 1 April.
Attempts to seek responses from senior CRPF officials, including the director general of IG Administration, IG Training, and the Public Relations Officer, regarding the status of the candidates whose appendix had burst and why the distance for the physical test was changed, elicited no response till the time this story went to press.