Less than 24 hours after the mysterious death of a journalist covering the Vyapam scam, the dean of a medical college in Madhya Pradesh who was assisting the probe, was found dead in a Delhi hotel on Sunday

    The two back-to-back deaths deepened suspicions about a systematic elimination of people linked to the racket and sparked further demands by Opposition parties for an independent probe.

    Delhi Police said no prima facie evidence suggested foul play in the death of 64-year-old Arun Sharma but didn’t rule out suicide as Opposition parties mounted pressure on the BJP for a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe.

    Sharma, the dean of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College and Hospital in Jabalpur, died a day after a television journalist Akshay Singh passed away while interviewing family members of a student whose mutilated body was found on a railway track in 2012.

    Read: Vyapam scam: Cops say scribe death natural, autopsy report awaited 

    The death also comes exactly a year after the charred body of his predecessor DK Sakalle,60, was found at his house in Jabalpur. Dr Sharma was reportedly close to Dr Sakalle.

    Police said Sharma was found dead at a hotel in southwest Delhi’s Kapashera and an almost empty bottle of alcohol was found in the room that was locked from the inside.

    Sharma had checked into the hotel in Dwarka Saturday evening and was scheduled to fly to Agartala this morning for an official inspection of a medical college there, police said.

    His son told the police that he had been suffering from some heart ailments. Some medicines were also found in the room, police said.

    The Indian Medical Association’s Jabalpur unit president Sudhir Tiwari said Sharma handed over about 200 documents to a special task force regarding admissions to the medical college.

    Whistleblowers said Sharma’s death was important because hundreds of students from his institution were involved in rigging professional tests conducted by the MP Professional Examination Board (PEB) that has seen over 2,000 arrests.

    Organised rackets employed imposters, manipulated seating arrangements and forged answer sheets as part of the Vyapam scam, called so from PEB’s Hindi acronym.

    With the mysterious death of two persons in two days in connection with the scam, Congress and AAP demanded an independent probe into the scam.

    “Vyapam scam n all deaths so far ought to be thoroughly investigated. Guilty must be punished,” Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal tweeted as the AAP announced a nationwide protest on July 11.

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was among the prominent leaders who attended Singh’s funeral in the evening as the party demanded an independent probe.

    The Centre also stepped in, with home minister Rajnath Singh calling up Chouhan and reportedly asking him to conduct a probe into the journalist’s death.

    CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has so far ruled out a CBI probe into the deaths.

    Nearly 40 people linked to the scandal have died over the past few years, triggering allegations that witnesses, whistleblowers and accused were being silenced.


    HT Exclusive: In Vyapam scam, 10 dead in mishaps and 4 suicides

    Many mystery deaths and 2,000 arrests: All about MP's Vyapam scam

    Whistleblowers in MP exam scam spooked by mystery deaths, threats

New Volkswagen Touareg launched

New Volkswagen Touareg launched

Volkswagen India has launched the New Touareg at  Rs 58.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

While the new Touareg has a low profile like its predecessor, it is 40mm longer and about 200kg lighter than the model it replaces.

Power comes from a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine that churns out 236bhp and 56.08kgm of torque, and is mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The Touareg comes equipped with a Bluetooth audio system, fully-powered seats with memory, a touch-screen audio system that doubles up as a screen for the reverse camera, and a dual-zone climate control system. It also comes with keyless entry and go, a panoramic sunroof, switches in the boot to both lower the rear suspension for easy loading, and drop the rear seats for more boot space. Surprisingly, it does not come with paddle-shifters for its eight-speed gearbox, and the steering reach/rake adjust is manual. Automatic Bi-Xenon headlamps with cornering lights are standard on the new Touareg.

Safety features include driver and passenger airbags and Electronic Stability Control. The new Touareg also features VW’s all-wheel-drive system. The new Touareg has seating for five unlike the BMW X5 which is a seven seater.

We drove the new Touareg earlier this year and the performance belied its 2135kg kerb weight. The ride and handling also left us suitably impressed, with the stiffness of the chassis shining through.

The Touraeg competes with the likes of the recently-launched Mercedes ML-Class and BMW X5. 

VW Touraeg V6 TDI - Rs 58.5 lakh (Ex-Delhi)

Mercedes ML 350 CDI - Rs 56.9 lakh (Ex-Delhi)

BMW X5 xDrive30d - Rs 63.8 lakh (Ex-Delhi)


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