The high profile Vyapam Scam of Madhya Pradesh got embroiled into further controversy with mysterious deaths of two more accused reported in just last 24 hours from Gwalior and Indore. Several politicians and bureaucrats are allegedly involved in this massive admission and recruitment scam concerning Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).
First to be reported was the death of 40-year old Dr Rajendra Arya at Birla Hospital in Gwalior on Sunday morning followed by that of 29-year old Narendra Singh Tomar in Indore jail under mysterious circumstances later in the day.
“Arya died at Birla Hospital in Gwalior this morning. Arya, who had been on bail for one year, had gone to Kota and was returning when his condition turned critical,” senior police officer Virendra Jain told the press.
Arya, who reportedly holds an MBBS degree, had allegedly helped two students clear Pre-Medical Tests (PMTs) conducted by MPPEB in 2007 and 2008, respectively.
In the second incident, Tomar, a veterinarian, complained of chest pain on Saturday night and was rushed to Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital where he was declared brought dead, official claimed.
City Superintendent of Police Ajay Jain confirmed that a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the death of Tomar, who was posted as Assistant Veterinary Officer at Raisen before being embroiled in the scam. Tomar was said to have arranged for impostors who had written the papers in place of genuine aspirants.
So far more than 24 accused in the case have died under mysterious circumstances. Though some reports claims that more than 40 people, whose names have figured in the scam, have died.
The most high-profile death was that of Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav. 50-year old Shailesh Yadav was found dead at his father’s in Lucknow on 25th March this year.
Ram Naresh Yadav, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was also made an accused in the MPPEB scam before getting relief from the court. Several politicians, including former Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma, a host of officials and scores of aspirants have been arrested in the case.
With the number of mysterious deaths mounting to a chilling scale, opposition Congress has once again accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of complicity in the scam.
“More than 41 people who were accused have died mysteriously. But unfortunately the Chief Minister is trying to cover up and we are fighting the battle in court…We have lost total faith in the SIT appointed by the honourable High Court. They themselves have conveyed the helplessness to guide the STF investigation. So we have no option but to go to Supreme Court,” senior Congress leader and former MP Chief Minister Digvijay Singh alleged.
But on its part, the MP government is claiming that all of them have died a “natural” death.
“All deaths are natural deaths…The accused fell sick and died,” MP Home Minister Babulal Gaur made the claims.
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 but the scam was only discovered four years later.
(With inputs from the PTI)