The spate of deaths connected to ‘Vyapam’ scam of Madhya Pradesh is not coming to an end. The latest happens to be a 25-year-old woman trainee sub-inspector, who incidentally got into the police force through an exam conducted by Vyapam. Trainee sub-inspector, Anamika Sikarwar was found dead in the lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy (PTA) in Sagar district headquarters.
In its initial probe, the police is claiming it to be a case of suicide. However, no suicide note has been found in her room in the training academy.
“She was found missing from her room and later her body was found in the lake. It is suspected to be a case of suicide,” Gautam Solanki, City Superintendent of Police said.
Reacting to the early morning reports of the trainee cop’s death, Congress general secretary and former CM of Madhya Pradesh, Digvijay Singh linked it to Vyapam scam and flagged it to be either 46th or 47th death.
“Training Cop recruited through Vyapam commits suicide in Sagar Police Academy MP. 46th or 47th?” Digvijay Singh wrote in a micro-blogging site.
Stepping up its attack on the incumbent Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the Congress party demanded his resignation along with a CBI probe in the admission and recruitment scam as well as the mystery deaths linked with it.
“Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be sacked and an impartial probe should be done in the Vyapam scam,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in New Delhi.
But the BJP-led Central government rejected opposition’s demands. Ruling out the CBI probe Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who landed in Jhabua on Monday afternoon, said that the SIT was already investigating the charges under the supervision of the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
“We cannot direct the Supreme Court or the High Court,” he said on demands for a CBI probe.
This is another death barely a day after the Dean of a Jabalpur medical college Dr. Arun Sharma, said to be probing fake examinees in the Vyapam scam, was found dead in a Delhi hotel early on Sunday.
Dr. Sharma had taken over as the Dean of college just one year ago after the mystery death of then Dean DK Sakalle. Like Dr. Sharma, Mr. Sakalle, too was inquiring into admissions of candidates for whom proxies had allegedly appeared in the Pre-Medical Test (PMT). Sakalle was found burnt at his residence.
And on Saturday, Akshay Singh, a journalist working with a leading news channel based in the national capital Delhi had died under mysterious circumstances in Jhabua town of Madhya Pradesh while working on the story of Vyapam scam. 38 year old Singh collapsed soon after interviewing the parents of one of the victims, who too was found dead after her name figured in the massive admission and recruitment scandal.
In last one week alone, five people, including two accused Narendra Singh Tomar and Dr. Rajendra Arya, have died in mysterious circumstances. Several politicians, especially from the ruling BJP, and bureaucrats are allegedly involved in this massive admission and recruitment scam concerning Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB). Currently the Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing the matter.
Earlier on Sunday, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan claimed that his government will write to the High Court-appointed SIT probing the Vyapam scam to “thoroughly investigate” the death of a journalist.
“Every death is unfortunate and sad. We feel all the deaths (in the scam) should be probed…The state government had earlier written to the high court for probing the deaths,” CM Chouhan said in a presser at Bhopal on Sunday.
In another crucial development, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition seeking the removal of MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav for his alleged involvement in Vyapam scam.
A massive admission and recruitment scam involving politicians from the ruling BJP, senior officials and businessmen, “Vyapam” was unearthed in 2013 after a PIL was filed alleging large scale discrepancies with more than 300 ineligible candidates managing to get into the merit list. Though the complaints of irregularities in pre-medical test (PMT) were surfacing since 2009, the scam was only discovered four years later.
(With inputs from the PTI)