A deadly cocktail of whisky and antidepressants may have claimed the life of a Madhya Pradesh medical college dean whose body was found in a Delhi hotel room, officials said on Monday, marking another death of a person with links to a multi-layered examination scam.
City police ruled out foul play and were investigating the possibilities of suicide and accidental death, a day after 64-year-old Arun Sharma was found dead at a lodge in southwest Delhi’s Kapashera and the drugs were discovered in his room.
The dean of Jabalpur-based Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Medical College and Hospital is among dozens of people connected to the Vyapam examination scam from Madhya Pradesh who have died under suspicious circumstances in the past three years.
Police scanned CCTV footage from the hotel while a post-mortem was conducted at the Capital’s Safdarjung Hospital after which Sharma’s body was handed over to his family members who flew it to Jabalpur in a chartered plane for last rites.
“We are waiting for Sharma’s autopsy report to ascertain the exact cause of his death,” said Deependra Pathak, joint CP (southwestern range).
Vyapam scam: A theatre of the absurd in Madhya Pradesh
Sharma was reportedly helping a Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) probe the scam by providing documents on fake medical entrance examinees in his state-run college and was travelling to Tripura as a member of an inspection team of the Medical Council of India.
Delhi Police sources said some empty as well as unused strips of the anti-depression drug Pexep were found in a plastic bag in the hotel room along with seven other medicines used by patients suffering from diabetes and hypertension.
A nearly empty 750 ml bottle of whisky was also located near the body and investigators will send a sample of the alcohol for forensic tests to ascertain if it was adulterated.
Sharma purchased the bottle from a local liquor shop at Kapashera near the Delhi-Haryana border.
“Whatever is required during the inquiry of the incident is being done by us,” Pathak said. “This includes preserving all important evidences collected from the hotel room, CCTV footage of the Delhi airport, the liquor shop and hotel premises.”