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Organised scam under the nose of BSEK

Scam artistes operating under the nose of BSEK
Karachi, Nov 03: Hundreds of students have been swindled by an organised scam operating right under the nose of the Board of Secondary Education Karachi (BSEK). Stalls set up in front of the BSEK's gate, manned by people impersonating as board officials, took money from students and their families telling them that they could submit their forms right there instead of standing in the long queues inside.

No one from the board office or local police station took notice of the situation even though the scam was operating openly and in broad daylight.

Hundreds of students had to repay their fee while a majority of them could not sit in the exam since they were not issued their admit cards for not submitting their fees. These students were, needless to say, caught off guard.

Those who did realise that they had been cheated in time, resubmitted their fee at the bank counters to make sure they get the admit cards. Yet, even among these candidates, some could give only one paper as the payment due dates of other exams had already lapsed.

It was reliably learnt that, during the period for the submission of the examination forms for SSC Science and General Group Supplementary Examination 2008, both regular and private, this scam was being operated right next to the main entrance of the BSEK. Stalls had been set up next to the main gate with stationary and stamps placed on the tables. Young men from the stalls told the students that they were board employees and, due to long queues of candidates, late comers could submit their examination fee there. As a result, hundreds of students were deceived and submitted their fees and forms at these stalls. The people operating the scam did not mark the receipt where the bank's stamp is supposed to be.

The BSEK has refused to take responsibility for this incident saying that they are not accountable for any fraud taking place outside the premises of the board.

The Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) also rubbished allegations regarding the involvement of board employees in the scam.

However, inside sources from the BSEK said that it is impossible to cheat candidates in this manner without the board being aware. And this is not the first time. Whenever there is a rush of people at BSEK, the same rogues take full advantage. People in the board office receive several complaints but fail to take any action against them.

When contacted, Controller of Examination, BSEK, Syed Javed Iftikhar disagreed with the notion that board employees were involved. He also said that BSEK is not responsible for frauds taking place outside its premises.

Explaining, he said, "It has been clearly published in all newspapers that the examination fee will be submitted in the board of office branch of National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Askari Commercial Bank and Habib Bank. The students should not have paid unidentified men." He further said that if the candidates were cheated inside the building, the board would be responsible for that. Regarding, the candidates who have been cheated he said, "We cannot exempt their examination fee but if they submit their requests with the chairman of the board, they can be given the exemption of late fee."

While the BSEK refuses to take responsibility of the frauds frequently committed outside their premises, the candidates continue to face problems. Given that the BSEK admits that they receive frequent complaints regarding scams outside the premises, one wonders why no action is taken against these con artistes.

A reliable source from BSEK said that it is not possible to take action against these rogues since they have strong political backing. "Those committing the fraud are often armed and can go after you if you try to stop them," he maintained. He further said that this is the responsibility of the local police but they do not perform their job.

Asked why the BSEK officials don't take any action against them, he said, "Some senior level officers including a former chairman were murdered while on duty. Therefore, it is risky for them to take the matter into their own hands and they rely upon the higher authorities for this purpose.

The ones cheated
Karachi: While the BSEK has turned a blind eye to the fraud operating outside their premises, less privileged students have suffered to the extent that some of them may not even be able to sit in the exams this year.

Muhammad Muzamil, son of Muhammad Saleem, is one of the victims of the fraud. Muzamil's father is an electrician and earns Rs7,000 a month. Saleem visited us with his complaint and asked if the lost amount could be recovered. When he was told that the biggest favour he could get from the board is the exemption of late fee he decided that his son would sit in the exam next year. When asked why, Saleem replied, "I already borrowed Rs4,000 this month from which I gave Rs1,000 to Muzamil for his fee but that could not be submitted to the board." He lamented that he could not afford more loans since he has to meet other expenses as well.

By the time Muzamil was sure he had been cheated it was too late for him since one of the due dates for his supplementary exam (Mathematics) had already passed. Suffering mental trauma, he could not prepare for his other exam (Physics).

Muzamil said that four of his class fellows were also cheated by the same mafia and there were hundreds of students who made the same mistake and would pay their fee again if the exam date had not already passed.

"I admit my child's mistake, but he was not the only one, hundreds of students did the same," said Saleem. "Why are the BSEK not taking any action against this particular mafia, despite being aware of them? And why don't they suspend the staff that is involved and collaborating with this fraud?" he questioned.

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HSC Part I examination forms schedule
Karachi: The examination forms for private candidates of HSC Part I Annual Examinations 2009 for Humanities and Commerce groups are available at Board of Intermediate Education Karachi (BIEK) at Rs35 per form, a press release stated on Saturday. The forms can be submitted at UBL, BIEK branch after the due verification and endorsement fee from the concerned sections. The forms can be submitted from Nov 5 to Nov 29 and from December 1 to December 16 with a late fee of Rs100 while for the submissions up to December 27 a late fee of Rs300 would be charged. Similarly forms submitted in between December 30 to January 9, 2009 will be charged a late fee of Rs1,000. The News

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558 unregistered seminaries in Karachi
Karachi: Only 375 seminaries out of 933 in the city have so far been registered, while the government has been unable to regulate the remaining 558, it was learnt.

According to the data complied by the Additional Inspector General of Police Special Branch Sindh, Karachi for the Prime Minister's Data Book, 1,090 seminaries out of 1,813 across Sindh remain unregistered.

As many as 249 seminaries out of 488 in Hyderabad and 283 out of 392 in Sukkur remain unregulated.

The report has revealed said that many seminaries have been found involved in terrorist activities and sending a large number of students for military training either to Afghanistan or other places.

Some seminaries have also been found involved in sectarianism, but currently their activities in this regard were stalled.

The report also mentioned that a number of seminaries were affiliated with defunct religious organisations including Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan (SSP), Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LJ), Jaish-e-Muhammad (JM), Harkatul-ul-Mujahideen (HM), Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LT), Sipah-e-Muhammad Pakistan (SMP) and others including the Taliban.

Another report of the Special Branch Karachi has disclosed that seminaries were being run under the supervision of outlawed organisations and still sending recruits for military training to take part in the 'jihad' in Afghanistan.

The report also mentioned the locations of such seminaries in the city and the different names they have adopted after being banned.

The data has been complied after the initiative taken by the prime minister during his address to the 3rd session of the National Assembly, during which he announced the Action Plan for 100 days and directed the Ministry of Interior to establish the "Madrassah Welfare Authority' with the task of introducing uniform syllabus, ensure registration of foreign students and audit of funds.

Following the instruction, a meeting was held on May 22, 2008 at the Ministry of Interior in Islamabad to draw up the future and road map on the subject and also share the experiences and difficulties faced by the government.

The registration of seminaries has been underway since January 26 2002, but the goal has so far remained unachieved. Daily Times

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