Saturday December 03, 2022

FIA finds no evidence to prove sexual harassment charges against BBSUL VC

By Our Correspondent
August 05, 2022

In the investigation into the allegations of sexual harassment against Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Lyari (BBSUL) Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Akhtar Baloch, the cybercrime wing of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has found no evidence of sexual harassment from the mobile phone of the VC.

A member of the treasury benches in the Sindh Assembly, Shazia Karim Sanghaar, had on January 16, 2022, lodged a written complaint on her official letterhead to the additional director of the FIA cybercrime wing stating “Mr Akhtar, the vice chancellor of the said university [BBSUL] harassed from mobile [phone] that [is] why I made a complaint to the higher authorities and after some time he sent me vulgar, sexual and immoral stickers through his WhatApp…”

The BBSUL VC, however, denied the allegations andvoluntarily submitted his mobile phone to the inquiry team. In the meantime, the Sindh government sent Prof Baloch on a 45-day forced leave and assigned Prof Dr Amjad Siraj Memon to manage the day-to-day affairs of the varsity. Later, the government extended the VC’s forced leave, however, after the passage of over six months, the inquiry team is yet to conclude the investigation.

However, the findings of the FIA forensic report state: “The FIA cybercrime’s Digital Forensic Lab Sindh, has received the evidentiary item [mobile phone] on June 10, 2022, from Akhtar Baloch which is approximately 5 months after the complaint to the chief minister and during which the said evidence also remained in the custody of the police.”

The report reads that the mobile phone was searched for sexual stickers. “However, no such type of data was found from the evidential item. The presence of the malware could not be ascertained…”