July 22, 2023
By Ahmed Saeed
Bahawalpur Police have arrested the Chief Security Officer (CSO) of Islamia University Bahawalpur, Major (Retd) Ijaz Shah for possessing drugs as well as objectionable videos and pictures of the varsity’s female students and faculty members.
The police registered an FIR against the retired army officer under section 9 (2) of the Control of Narcotics Substance Act (CNSA) 1997. They told Voicepk.net that the arrest was made after they received multiple complaints from female students of the university that they were being blackmailed by the CSO.
A police official on the condition of anonymity said that the operation was carried out after proper planning and preliminary investigation of the complaints filed by the aggrieved female students.
PRO Bahawalpur Police Umer Saleem said that the matter will be fully probed on merit. The accused is in police custody on a physical remand till July 24 (Monday).
The investigating officer (IO) of the case, Mehboob Ahmed, said that so far ‘hundreds’ of objectionable videos have been recovered from two mobile phones in the possession of the accused.
“Some of these videos are recordings of CCTV cameras in which university students and faculty members could be seen in comprised positions. The CSO used these videos to blackmail the students caught in CCTV cameras. Apart from these videos, there are hundreds of pictures of naked female students sent via WhatsApp by the blackmailed girls,”
He also added that there might be hundreds of victims as some videos date as far back as 2017, the year Shah got the job.
Criminal network on campus?
A senior faculty member of the Islamia University Bahawalpur, who also wishes to remain anonymous, told Voicepk.net that Shah was operating a gang comprising his team members, including the assistant security officer and security guards. The source alleged that the gang would move about on campus in civil dresses, extorting money from male students while the female students would be sent clips and images from CCTV recordings to blackmail them into sending nude photographs of themselves.
The source also claimed that Shah and his gang would also force the students they were blackmailing to spy on senior faculty members, and get recordings that could be used against them. He stated that a team of senior faculty met with the Vice Chancellor (VC) of the university several months ago to alert him of the situation, however he refused to transfer or fire Shah.
IO Mehmood Ahmed said that both mobile phones have been sent for forensic analysis and relevant provisions will be added in the FIR once the report is finalized. However, neither police have identified any victim nor has any person come forward claiming to be a victim of the harassment and blackmailing.
Victims come forward
Soon after the news of CSO’s arrest broke, the university immediately replaced Shah and notified one Mudassir Jamil as the CSO.
The students of the university have urged the authorities to extend the scope of the ongoing probe as they believe that the entire process was being managed by a group including high-ranking university officials. They said that the police findings were just the tip of the iceberg as the situation is worse than it appears.
Meanwhile Aurat March has termed the incident ‘alarming’, stating that universities need to show genuine concern for students’ welfare, not just for their own reputation. It added that universities must look beyond dispelling responsibilities to surveillance, and rather look towards cultivating safe campuses for all students.
We are alarmed and dismayed by yet another report of women being spied on, harassed and blackmailed at a university. Islamic University Bahawalpur’s ex-head of security was caught with multiple videos of female students and staff on his mobile phones. pic.twitter.com/pjFmbSbHS7
— عورت مارچ لاہور – Aurat March Lahore (@AuratMarch) July 21, 2023