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A scam leading to deaths!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on July 10, 2015 with No Comments

A scam leading to deaths!

Growing toll

One after the other, people variously linked with the Vyapam scam, are dying. The mystery deepens with every new death reported even as the probe agencies struggle to unravel it.

The investigation in the scam commenced on July 7, 2013 on the basis of a report lodged on the information of an Indore-based civil rights activist, Dr Anand Rai.Forensic expert Prashant Pandey said he became a whistleblower in July last year, when he realised the special task force was relying on documents that seemed to have been tampered with.Gwalior-based social activist Ashish Chaturvedi claims to have disclosed the involvement of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s relatives and seven others in the scam.All whistleblowers claim that they fear for their lives.

MP Scam



People with no history of illness are suddenly dying in road accidents and committing suicides. Everyday there is a new death, giving rise to suspicions of a chilling conspiracy with the toll hitting forty seven last week. Twelve persons have died suddenly of unexplained illness/cause; ten others have succumbed to accidents. Namrata Damor, a student accused of benefitting from the Vyapam scam, left her home hale and hearty in 2012. A few days later, her body was found hundreds of miles away on railway tracks in Ujjain. Three years later, TV journalist Akshay Singh, who was probing her death, dies within seconds of interviewing her parents. Fearing threat to life, a whistle blower Ashish Chaturvedi approached police this week demanding more security claiming that he had unidentified visitors saying that he would be cut to pieces, if he testifies in court. Dr Arun Sharma Dean of a medical college in Jabalpur was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a Delhi hotel. After the death of Dr Arun; the Indian Medical Association Jabalpur president has now claimed threat to his life. Just a year ago, Arun Sharma’s predecessor DK Sakalle, who was heading the probe into fraudulent admissions in the Jabalpur College, had died of burn injuries.

Despite seemingly more like a plot for a Bollywood movie, it is not. There is something really threatening and rotten in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, as those connected with a scam have died under mysterious circumstance, and the Madhya Pradesh government is doing the best it can-avoiding questions and not willing to order a probe by an independent agency. The union minister of law terms the development as “silly issues”.

The Vyapam Scam dates back to 2007, with investigations in the case starting after some details came to light in 2013. Officers of the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal, or Vyapam) were found to have been rigging a variety of eligibility tests for courses and recruitments for close to six years. These included tests for medical entrance, and for those aspiring for government employment as police constables, teachers, banking officials and so on. Over Rs.2000 crore is believed to have been exchanged as bribes. The State police have arrested some 2,000 people, and still are looking for about 700 more. Naturally, there is palpable fear among families of many other persons linked to the scam.

Those allegedly involved include politicians and bureaucrats across the board, as well as the office of Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, the office of the Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan.

The State government’s Special Investigation Team recently admitted before the Madhya Pradesh High Court that 23 of these were ‘unnatural’ deaths. Many of the dead were between the age of 25 and 30, and ‘road accidents’ were cited as the leading cause of death. It all points to serious and enduring foul play. Shailesh, son of the governor also an accused, is among those who died under mysterious circumstances. Investigations have revealed that the Raj Bhawan staff was part of the gang that manipulated admissions and recruitment tests with one Officer on Special duty with the Governor among those arrested. Despite having lost his Son, the governor doesn’t ask for a probe! Despite the investigations leading to the governor’s house, the Central government doesn’t move an inch to remove him perhaps fearing that he may spill the beans that could affect the Chief Minister and the BJP government in the state! Ram Naresh Yadav has taken refuge in Bhopal’s Raj Bhavan. Incidentally, an FIR was lodged against Yadav (88) for his alleged involvement in the Vyapam scam. Even after the lodging of the FIR and despite the Prime Minister’s Office and Home Minister Rajnath Singh asking him to resign, Yadav refused to step down. Yadav, who was in the Congress when the then UPA government appointed him governor of Madhya Pradesh in 2011, managed to save his chair when the NDA government exerted pressure that led to the resignation of other UPA appointed governors like Sheila Dikshit, BL Joshi, Shekhar Dutt, and MK Narayanan.

The Scam is a true and sad reflection of any government in India, carrying out scams, handling investigations in a way to appear effective while shielding the accused. However, in the Vyapam Scam the things have been taken a little too far with those involved with the scam whether as accused, or whistle blowers or those who could provide evidence being removed as dead. With each death, the state government is the first to come out and claim that the death has been natural and there has been no foul play, with not an iota of evidence collected by the investigation agencies.

The case is being investigated by a special task force that answers directly to none other than the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan who himself is under the scanner due to suspicion, as he was the state medical education minister. Higher education minister Laxmikant Sharma, has been in jail for over 16 months. State government officials have appeared heartless in their responses and have attempted to just shrug off the matter. State Home Minister Babulal Gaur attributed the deaths to natural causes, adding that “whoever is born has to die one day”. Chief Minister too tries to project his clean image as he was the one who ordered a probe in the same. That claim no longer holds water as his reputation for good and clean governance has been damaged by the scam. The government takes shield that the probe is being carried by a Special Task Force that is being closely monitored by the High Court while throwing all requests for a fair probe to the wind.

Vyapam Scam is about degree going on sale. Vyapam Scam is about jobs being put on sale. Vyapam Scam is about death of merit, and appointments being made on the sheer power of money, and awarding death to those who can be of any “good” for the investigations. The Scam highlights that accused in the robe of politicians can not only remain immune, but can also collaborate to strategically removing evidence both in abstract and in person while holding on to their chairs.


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