NIA's Unconventional Choice: Rumi Timungpi, Tied to APSC Scandal

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Wednesday, August 23, 2023
NIA's Unconventional Choice: Rumi Timungpi, Tied to APSC Scandal
Deputation to NIA Follows APSC Scandal Allegations
Questions Arise Over Controversial Appointment
Guwahati, India – August 22, 2023
In a significant development, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has appointed Rumi Timungpi, an Assam Police officer, to the National Investigating Agency (NIA) on a deputation basis. This decision comes in the wake of her involvement in a high-profile corruption case, known locally as the 'APSC scam.'

Timungpi, who previously served as a Deputy Superintendent of Police at the special branch of Assam Police, found herself under the scrutiny of a one-man judicial commission led by retired judge Justice Biplab Sarma in July 2021. The commission's four-hour interrogation was based on Timungpi's written response to their inquiries.

The 'APSC scam' was a significant blow to the former Congress regime in Assam back in 2016 when the first BJP-led government, led by Sarbananda Sonowal, took office. Notably, then-Home Minister Sonowal's state police had apprehended not only the Commission's chairman, Rakesh Paul, but also 21 officers who had entered the state administration through the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) route in 2013.

These officers faced allegations of bribing some members of the Commission despite failing to pass the qualifying examination. Timungpi was one of the 21 officers named by the Commission, appointed by the Sonowal government. The BJP had vehemently criticized the Tarun Gogoi-led regime for alleged corruption.

According to Pratidin Time, "The report by the Justice Sarma Commission exposed the shocking fact that Timungpi had failed to clear the APSC examination." However, she has since contested this claim.

While the case is ongoing in a special court in Guwahati, the MHA appointed Timungpi as an additional Superintendent of Police at the NIA on June 15, marking a three-year deputation. The appointment received clearance from the state home department, which is overseen by Assam's Chief Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma, who also serves as the state's home minister.

An Assam government notification dated August 11 confirmed her release from duty within the Assam Police to assume her new role at the NIA. This move has sparked questions regarding the placement of a controversial figure in a pivotal position within a central agency like the NIA, as reported by the Assam Tribune.

In an unrelated development, this March, the former APSC chairman, Rakesh Paul, secured his release on bail after spending over six years in detention.

Notably, Officer Rimunpi has refrained from making public statements regarding her recent assignment at the NIA, leaving many to ponder the implications of this controversial appointment.