BAHAWALNAGAR: On the report of an intelligence agency, the Minchinabad assistant commissioner (AC) caught on Monday 150 candidates for intermediate examinations using unfair means and recovered helping material from them and bribe money from the guard in a raid at the McLeod Ganj examination centre.

AC Rashid Iqbal raided the Government Higher Secondary School, McLeod Ganj, and caught red handed the candidates using helping material while taking the second year English examinations. The security guard of the examination centre was arrested, while invigilators were suspended from service and a departmental inquiry has been initiated against them.

According to sources, candidates paid money to the guard which was distributed to the invigilators. The staff then allowed the students to cheat in the examination. Sources claimed that this practice had been going on for the last several days at the centre.

After receiving the information, the intelligence agency forwarded the video evidence to the tehsil administration and the AC raided the center.

Guard arrested, invigilators suspended

AC Iqbal said that seven invigilators, including Superintendent Muhammad Akhtar Saeed and Deputy Superintendent Shahzad Hussain, were caught red handed and they were using middle man (security guard Ajaz Ahmed) to get bribe from the candidates. He said the vigilance officer was also part of the racket.

Chief Executive Officer-Education Rana Naveed said he appointed Deputy District Education Officer Muhammad Hafeez as inquiry officer. He said the task of checking examination centers lied with the district education officer-elementary (DEO-elementary). DEO-Elementary Shabbir Tariq said that he did not have the authority to check the examination centre, rather it was the job of DEO-Secondary Rana Kausar.

Bahawalpur Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Controller Tahir Husain Jafri told Dawn the AC exceeded his jurisdiction by raiding an examination centre on the information of a security agency along with media. He said only deputy commissioner or district police officer had the authority to do so. He added that according to the procedure, any such activity should have been reported to the board chairman. He said that no evidence had been provided to the board on the charges of cheating of any of the 150 accused students. He also rejected the claim that the vigilance officer was involved in taking bribe. He said that an FIR had been lodged against the security guard on the complaint of Special Officer Junaid Shah, whereas disciplinary action was being initiated against the staff of the examination center.

Published in Dawn, May 14th, 2019