Bhopal, Sep 24 (IANS) The Vyapam scam, which has irregularities in three categories — impersonation, manipulation and engine- bogie (nexus between government employees and middlemen), came to light in 2013. The CBI in its several chargesheets has listed over 1200 accused in different categories, including forgery, bribery, misuse of government office and others.
However, more than the irregularities in conducting the exams in as many as 13 categories and recruitment of state government employees, including medical and teachers, a number of mysterious deaths of the accused and the witnesses after the scam surfaced shook the nation. And those deaths remain a mystery even today even as 50-55 cases have been disposed off by the special CBI court in Bhopal.
On record, there are more than 40 people associated with the scam who have died since it broke in 2013. A senior Public Prosecutor representing the CBI in the court said, “Over 55 people have died so far, including some during the court proceedings due to which many accused and co-accused were acquitted.”
Most of the people who were either accused or witnesses in the cover-up have died due to alcohol-related illnesses, suicide or road accidents. At least ten middlemen have died in road accidents since 2010, three years before the scam broke.
The deaths include accused and witnesses as well as a journalist who was investigating the scam, and have largely been under mysterious circumstances. At least five persons died in strange circumstances, within a period of one week in 2015, including the dean of a Jabalpur medical college Dr Arun Sharma, medical student Namrata Damor and TV journalist Akshay Singh, who was probing the scam.
The other persons who died in suspicious circumstances include Shailesh Yadav, who was the son of then Madhya Pradesh Governor (late) Ramnaresh Yadav. Shailesh, who was named as an accused in the multi-crore Vyapam scam, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at his father’s official residence in March 2015.
Similarly, a constable Sanjay Yadav, who was a witness in the case was found dead at his house a day before he was to appear in the court. “See, there was a strong nexus of politicians, senior bureaucrats ans even police officials and they wanted to stop witnesses at any cast. People were targeted and killed. Who killed these people and who was behind it is still a mystery and is likely to remain so,” said a Bhopal-based activist, who refused to identify himself.