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Wednesday May 22, 2024

JIT recommends strict action against ‘MDCAT mafia’

By Javed Aziz Khan & Mushtaq Yousafzai
September 22, 2023

PESHAWAR: The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) constituted for probing the Medical and Dental Colleges Admission Test (MDCAT) scandal has submitted its report to the government, recommending a strictest action against the mafia involved in ruining the future of hundreds of deserving students.

The JIT report recommended external and internal accountability of the bodies involved in the process for the last several years to find the black sheep within the system. The JIT consisted of the senior officials from different departments to inquire about the network involved in the entire process.

“The JIT report which has been submitted to the government found that the main character Zafar belongs to Karak who has a network in Peshawar, Kohat, Abbottabad and other districts to make arrangements with the candidates against a huge amount. This has been happening for the last several years,” a source told The News.

He added that the report mentioned that four Bluetooth devices were caught last year but nobody paid any heed to the issue. The main character was also arrested in a case in 2018 and a First Information Report (FIR) was lodged against him.

“As many as 148 FIRs have been lodged in different districts after the scam was unearthed. A large number of arrests have been made from different districts after lodging the cases,” the source added.

The JIT report mentioned that around 115 students got above 90 per cent marks last year. The number of students getting above 90 per cent marks is over 1000, clearly showing how many students benefited from the gang.

The report also mentioned that Rs2 million to Rs3 million were collected from each student and the number of such students is believed to be in hundreds. More arrests were made in connection with the scandal in the last few days from different districts of the province.

Scores of the candidates were caught while using the Bluetooth-enabled pocket-sized devices connected to micro earpieces during the examination.

The KP government took notice of attempts to use unfair means in the MDCAT and directed to constitute a high-level committee comprising officials from different concerned departments.

It is to be seen as to whether the merit prevails and the deserving students get admission on merit or those already declared passed, mostly through unfair means, will study in medical and dental colleges in the coming years.

But it has been learnt that results of MDCAT remain valid for three years and more students are to suffer in the coming years too after over 1,000 have obtained 90 per cent or above marks in the MDCAT this year.

Meanwhile, it was also revealed in JIT report that high-ranking police officials and children of bureaucrats are also involved in the Mdcat copying.

The 219 people have been arrested for copying and cheating, according to sources. The SIM cards of 9 arrested individuals are registered under the same person’s name.

Top police officials and bureaucrats are allegedly protecting themselves. Employees from various government institutions are also implicated in the network, according to the report.

The device is available for Rs35,000 both domestically and abroad, as reported. The fee for achieving a score of 190 marks in MDCAT was set at Rs35 lakh, as stated in the report. The cost was 20 lakhs for a score of 170, and 25 lakhs for a score of 180, the report notes. The network’s headquarters is located in Karak district.