KARACHI: On March 1, medical student Rabia Aziz received a rather perturbing WhatsApp message. A man unknown to the 20-year-old had her Dow University of Health and Sciences (Dow) admission form and a passport-sized photo.
Speaking to The Express Tribune, Aziz said the test had been administered on November 4, 2017. “A friend of mine suffered a similar fate. She saw my Facebook post and messaged me saying she had received phone calls about how her documents could be misused,” she added.
A shaken Aziz replied. “Pan ke papers mein aaye hain aap ke forms,” Amjad Ali, who introduced himself as a Karachi-based pan vendor, told Aziz. “In beghairtoun ko koho yeh kia tarika hai. Unki maa behnon ka koi aisay pictures ya papers pan walon ko de toh,” he added.
“File li thi uss mein thay. Kahan chora tha form?” he replied on being asked how he had obtained the documents. “Aur aap nahin balkey kitni larkiyon ke, Ali added.
Another man sent her WhatsApp texts reading, “Apka nam badnam horah hai. Aap kis jaga se photocopy karwati ho. Waha se apki form raddi ki bhau aati hai aur Karachi Thatta mein 50, 60 rupees me log khareed rahe hai…”
The man also sent her pictures of other Dow application forms. The shots included particulars of four women. Unable to make sense of what had transpired, Aziz took to social media and penned a Facebook post to bring attention to her plight. Since then, her post has been shared thousands of times and garnered scores of comments, with many assailing the varsity.
“An investigation is underway. We also learnt about the incident from social media,” Dow Vice-Chancellor Saeed Qureshi told The Express Tribune. He further added, “There are two ways an incident like this could have taken place. Either it’s someone from DOW trying to sabotage the image of the institute and scaring aspiring students. Or the forms were not properly discarded.”
Applications are disposed off a year after their receipt, the VC informed. “Forms received in 2015 were recently burnt. Those received in 2016 are yet to be consigned to flames. It is beyond me how 2017 documents have been leaked,” he added.
“I urge everyone affected to approach the varsity. We are conducting an investigation,” Qureshi said. The VC expressed hope that the case would be cracked soon as it was compromising the university’s standing.