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.


    Read:

    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

Kejriwal making allegations 'out of hat' for publicity: DLF

  • PTI, Mumbai
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 11, 2012 20:09 IST

Rejecting to Arvind Kejriwal's allegations that DLF favoured Robert Vadra, the realty major has said that the social activist-turned politician was making these charges "out of hat" to gain publicity.

Kejriwal has alleged that DLF gave interest free unsecured loan of Rs 65 crore to Robert Vadra's companies and also sold properties to him at throw-away price. He has charged that the Haryana government favoured DLF by allottment of land.

"These are some of the allegations coming out of the hat. Everyone wants to be popular so how to beome popular. He (Kejriwal) is a politician today. He has become like any other politician just going on throwing mud without even realising whether it is adding value or not," DLF commercial developers managing director Ramesh Sanka told PTI in Mumbai when asked about the allegations by activist.

Sanka, who was earlier group chief financial officer, noted that in the realty business it was a normal practice to give advances to land owners for buying the land.

"He (Kejriwal) is talking about Rs 65 crore. He is even questioning that will you give advances and keep it for two years, so the answer is yes," the DLF official said.

Sanka said the company had disclosed in its IPO document about the thousand of crores advances that the company has given for buying land.

Refuting the charges by Kejriwal, Sanka said: "I was the group CFO and I was filing the compliance certificate. Come anything under the world no body can get me signed a non-compliance deal. Once I have signed it, let 10 Kejriwals come they cannot find fault that much confidence I have".

Last week, DLF had issued a statement refuting allegations that it had given unsecured loans to Vadra as a 'quid pro quo' for favours and said it had transparent dealing with him as an individual entrepreneur.

The company had said it gave Rs 65 crore as "business advances" out of which Rs 15 crore was fully refunded and Rs 50 crore was used for purchase of land. It had also dismissed the charge that the company sold properties to Vadra and his companies at a throwaway price.

 

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