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Clean chit to Vyapam deaths? CBI expected to rule out foul play

india Updated: Jan 11, 2016 14:29 IST
Shruti Tomar
Shruti Tomar
Hindustan Times
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Police cane charge Youth Congress activists during a protest at the MP CM's residence over Vyapam scam, in Bhopal on Thursday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT File photo)

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is expected to say there was no foul play behind about 20 mysterious deaths of people linked to Madhya Pradesh’s multi-layered Vyapam test-rigging scam that has captivated the nation, sources said on Sunday.

The agency’s investigators from Bhopal have found that these deaths resulted either from natural causes or accidents without any suspicious involvement of an outsider, said the CBI sources.

The CBI took over the Vyapam investigation in July last year after several accused, beneficiaries, whistle-blowers and witnesses died mysteriously, with many alleging there was a systematic attempt to scuttle the inquiry that has singed top bureaucrats and politicians.

Probe has been completed in many of these cases and the report has been sent for legal scrutiny to the head office after which a closure report will be issued, said officials.

According to CBI sources, a viscera report clearly indicates journalist Akshay Singh, who was covering the scandal, died of cardiac arrest, while Dr Rajendra Arya, an accused, died of prolonged illness.

Investigations into the death of 19-year-old medical student Namrata Damor, whose body was found on railway tracks, are also on the verge of completion. As of now, the CBI hasn’t found any foul play.

“It is sure that nobody killed her in the train. Now, CBI is just trying to find out if it is possible for anyone to take her from Ujjain railway station and leave her in between the railway tracks in that short span of time,” said the sources.

At least 2,800 people have been arrested and hundreds are wanted in the scandal with multiple rackets helping candidates manoeuvre the examinations for money, including employing imposters to write test papers, manipulating seating arrangements as well as supplying forged answer sheets.

The Opposition has used the issue to target the BJP, which is in power at the Centre as well as the state, demanding the resignation of chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

However, Damor’s father, Mehtab Singh, doesn’t believe the suicide theory. Speaking to HT over phone, he said, “It is quite possible that Akshay Singh’s death was a natural one, but Namrata’s death was not at all a case of suicide. She was murdered.”