Monday, July 24, 2023

Committee formed to probe 'drug peddling, immoral activities' at Bahawalpur varsity

Police arrests two university officials for possessing illegal drugs; objectionable content found in their phones

Islamia University Bahawalpur. — Facebook/Islamia University Bahawalpur
Islamia University Bahawalpur. — Facebook/Islamia University Bahawalpur

  • Police arrest two university officials for drugs possession.
  • University also begins inquiry in matter.
  • Two officials suspended by university management.

Punjab interim Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi Monday formed a three-member inquiry committee to look into the "drug peddling and immoral activities" at the Islamia University Bahawalpur.

"A high level 3-member team, including a provincial Secretary and two DIGs, will submit an inquiry report within 72 hours. The law will take its course, and all involved in this disgraceful incident will be dealt according to law. Let us strive for a safer and morally upright society," tweeted Naqvi.

The committee includes Secretary Minerals Babar Aman Babar, along with DIG Amin Bukhari and DIG Raja Faisal, to thoroughly investigate all aspects of the controversy, identify the involved individuals, and present a report to the chief minister.

The issue dates back to the arrest of the university's Director Finance Mohammad Abu Bakr, who was taken into custody by the police on June 24.

The university official was arrested at a checkpost, where the police found crystal ice and other prohibited drugs in his possession for which he was subsequently charged, Geo News reported.

The university’s chief security officer, Syed Ejaz Hussain Shah, was also arrested by the Baghdad-ul-Jadeed police under the same circumstances three days ago. It was only after the police had confiscated the mobile phones of both the university officials that they later had the forensics done.

The inappropriate videos, images of students and officials, as well as chats, were found in their confiscated mobile phones in the wake of which the police submitted a comprehensive report to the Punjab chief minister.

As per reports, the two arrests were made after the police acted upon internal information. The university has already termed the episode “unfortunate,” stating that the institution has taken action against it.

The university also said that it had received 22 such complaints. Later, however, the Vice Chancellor Dr Athar Mehboob wrote to the Punjab inspector general, mentioning that the police had taken illegal action against the university officials and demanded a probe committee comprising senior officials look into the issue in a transparent manner.

Denying any illegal activity, he added that people who are afraid of the university's development are trying to defame it.

The university also formed an internal committee to probe the matter ahead of which both the suspects have also been suspended.

The university also announced to conduct a drug test of all its employees, including the VC himself — a decision taken due to the arrest of its officials.

The IUB public relations department, in a press statement, claimed that the university had adopted zero tolerance against drugs on its campus, as per the Higher Education Commission (HEC) directive and guidelines.

Police said that the forensics of the mobile phones have been completed, while records of outgoing and incoming calls made using the phones of the suspects have also been included in the report.