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

Suryanelli gangrape: Kerala Assembly disrupted

  • PTI, Thiruvananthapuram
  • |
  • Updated: Feb 04, 2013 12:12 IST

The CPI(M)-led LDFopposition disrupted proceedings in the Kerala Assembly on Monday, demanding a fresh probe into the allegation of the victim against Rajya Sabha deputy chairman PJ Kurien in the Suryanelli gangrape case.


Rejecting the LDF's adjournment notice on the issue during zero hour, home minister Thiruvanchur Radhakrishnan held that the state government could not comply with the demand for a re-investigation since the complaint against Kurien had been dismissed by the Supreme Court.

The placard-waving opposition members, led by their women colleagues, then rushed to the well of the house and raised slogans denouncing the government's stand, forcing speaker G Karthikeyan to adjourn the proceedings briefly.

Seeking leave for the motion, CPI(M) leader and former home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the recent Apex Court verdict ordering the Kerala high court to conduct a retrial in the 1996 case paved the way for re-investigating the victim's complaint against Kurien.

Balakrishnan said the girl had persisted in her complaint and last week had forwarded a request to the home minister, seeking a fresh probe.

He said the revelation of a former police officer, who was part of the team that investigated the case, that Kurien's alleged involvement was not properly looked into was also significant in view of recent developments in the case.

Seeking to turn the tables on the opposition, the home minister said when the complaint against Kurien was rejected by the Apex Court in 2007, LDF was in power in the state and sought to know why the then government had not filed an SLP (Special Leave Petition) and remained silent all these years.

The minister said he would not blame the opposition for that as a government could act only within the framework of the law in any matter.


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Vyapam scam: 2 deaths in 2 days jolt Shivraj Singh Chouhan govt

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