With the Haryana Staff Selection Commission (HSSC) sparking controversy across Haryana by asking a question derogatory to Brahmin caste in an examination, the BJP government on Thursday decided to hold an inquiry into the matter.

The education minister, Ram Bilas Sharma, said the HSSC chairman, Bharat Bhushan Bharti, would remain suspended until the inquiry was completed.

He said the state government has decided to set up a high-level inquiry commission to investigate the issue of a question pertaining to Brahmins in an examination conducted by the HSSC.

Besides, it has also been decided to register an FIR against the Delhi-based company, the paper-setter, and the publisher. HSSC in a recent competitive exam held for the recruitment of Junior civil engineers had asked candidates o mark the ominous person among the dark-skinned Brahmin (kala brahmin) and the daughter of a Brahmin which has left the Brahmin community fuming.

Addressing a Press conference, Sharma, said prominent people of the Brahmin community had met the Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar, earlier in the day and demanded action against the guilty.

While respecting the sentiments of the community, the CM announced the decision to constitute a high-level inquiry commission, registration of an FIR against the company, the paper-setter and the publisher, and said that Bharti would remain suspended till the completion of the inquiry.

Assuring the community of strict action against those found guilty, the CM said besides those of the Brahmin community, his sentiments too had been hurt by this incident.

In reply to a question, the minister said since the HSSC is an autonomous body, the inquiry would be conducted by a high-level officer, a retired or sitting judge of high court.

Advice of the advocate general, Haryana, is being sought on this issue. The inquiry commission would submit its report at the earliest, he said.

As is the practice, the board or the commission issues directions to the company for setting a paper and abstain from using any objectionable language in the questions regarding any community, caste, organization and people.

Though the company which was awarded the contract for setting the paper has tendered an apology in writing for the controversial question asked in the written examination for the post of junior engineer, yet the government has blacklisted the company and publisher from all future assignments, Sharma said.

Meanwhile, former CM and Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the suspension of the HSSC chairman is not enough and inquiry by a sitting Supreme Court judge should be ordered to unearth the malpractices in the Commission.