Narendra Singh Tomar, an accused in the high-profile MPPEB scam, died under mysterious circumstances in an Indore district jail, adding another murky chapter to the scandal in which 24 accused and witnesses have died so far.
Thirty-year-old Tomar, a veterinarian, complained of chest pain late on Saturday and was rushed to Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital where he died after being admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit, said Indore district jail superintendent Ranjeet Singh Bhatti on Sunday.
“Tomar complained of severe chest pain at about 11.15pm on Saturday,” he said.
“He was initially treated at the jail hospital but when he pain worsened he was taken to the MY Hospital where he was admitted to the intensive care unit at 11.42pm and doctors declared him dead at 12.30am.”
City superintendent of police Ajay Jain said 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 Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam.
Tomar, an accused in the pre-medical test conducted by the MPPEB in 2009 was lodged in the Indore district jail since February 24, 2015. He was said to have arranged for imposters who had written the papers in place of genuine aspirants.
More than two dozen under-trial prisoners and witnesses involved in the MPPEB scam have died at different places in the state since the scam surfaced.
Though the exact cause of death could not be ascertained, a case was registered under Section 174 of Cr PC at Sanyogitaganj police station.
Tomar's death has kicked off a controversy. The deceased's younger brother, Vikram, a government school teacher at Makdone village in Ujjain district alleged that his brother was murdered inside the prison to cover-up the crimes committed by others.
Demanding a CBI probe into his brother’s death, Vikram said though his brother died at 12.30am, jail authorities at 2.30am told him that his brother was in a critical condition.
"Why were we kept in dark about my brother's death?" Vikram told newspersons.
He said his brother was fine when he spoke to their elder sister Suman Chouhan between 4pm and 5pm on Saturday.
"Narendra was being mentally tortured by those involved in the MPPEB scam to keep his mouth shut. The allegations against my brother were baseless," he said.
Indore-based scam whistleblower Anand Rai said Tomar s death should be probed properly. "There can be many reasons for his death," he told Hindustan Times.