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Pakistan

Law enforcement agencies arrests 12 people for leaking MDCAT question paper

LAHORE: Law-Enforcement Agencies have arrested 12 people including medical students, government and private colleges officials for leaking MDCAT entry test question paper.

The examination was conducted by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) on Aug 20.Six medical students and doctors of private and government colleges are among the suspects.The ringleader of the racket, Dr Tausif, was arrested at Multan airport when he was about to flee abroad. He said the joint raids were carried out by the Punjab police and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and most arrests were effected in Lahore, Khanewal, Dera Ghazi Khan and Sialkot.

The official said the students/doctors were from some private and government medical colleges while some suspects were associated with a private academy in Lahore. A junior employee of the UHS was also among them.

Hundreds of millions of rupees had been recovered from the ringleader and some other members, he said, adding they had charged Rs2,000 per question to the students.

Around 60,000 students had appeared in the examination all over the province and the paper-leak scam had investigating agencies on their toes. The scope of investigation has been extended after the officials found clues to involvement of some more private medical and dental colleges.

The official said raids were carried out when the additional inspector general of Punjab Police, Hussain Asghar, briefed Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on the investigation at a meeting on Thursday. Mr Hussain is the head of the committee which probed the scam.

The meeting was also attended by the chief secretary, additional chief secretary, health minister, health secretary, the FIA Punjab director, DG Forensic Science Agency and the UHS acting vice chancellor.

Many disturbing facts of the scam surfaced in the meeting in which the chief minister was told that the racket was operating all over the province and most of the suspects were medical students who would engage the junior staff of the UHS to seek details about the question papers.

Sharing some contents of the inquiry report, the additional IG told the meeting that the group had been probably operating for the last 10 years or so. The medical students established links with the junior staff of the UHS to help the candidates appear in the exam. They later transformed it into a racket by engaging more people from all over the province.

After extending the scope of heinous crime to the Punjab level, the policeman said, the suspects sold per question for Rs2,000 and later settled at Rs1.2 million for the entire paper. “There was another package for those who could not afford it; they had the option to pay Rs2,000 per question.LHC: The Punjab government told the Lahore High Court on Friday the Medical and Dental College Admission Test (MDCAT) would be held afresh in the last week of this month as leak of its previously held question-paper had been established.

Accompanied by a government counsel, Health Special Secretary Sajid Chohan maintained before the court that evidence of the paper leak had been found in the inquiries. He said the University of Health Sciences (UHS) vice chancellor had been sacked and an FIR had also been registered against those involved in the paper leak with some arrests.

He said the government had decided to hold the test again during the last week of October without receiving any fee from the students.

In the light of the government version, Justice Shahid Waheed disposed of several petitions moved by the students who appeared in the MDCAT held on Aug 20 last for admission to MBBS.