Authorities at the Indore district jail have approached court with a request for shifting 17 prisoners facing trail in the Vyapam scam to some other jail in Madhya Pradesh with adequate medical facilities following the death of a prisoner.
The request came days after the death of Narendra Singh Tomar, a 30-year-old veterinarian and an accused in the Vyapam scam, who died early on June 28.
Tomar, the son of Kailash Singh Tomar from Porsa village of Morena district, died at Indore’s Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital. He had been held at the Indore district jail since February 24 after he was accused of impersonating an unknown candidate in a Pre-Medical Test (PMT) conducted by the tainted Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB).
A magisterial probe has been ordered to determine the cause of Tomar’s death.
The deaths of several witnesses, accused and whistleblowers linked to the Vyapam scam, named after the Hindi acronym for the MPPEB, have deepened suspicions about a systematic elimination of people linked to the racket.
Watch: The A to Z of the Vyapam scam
District jail superintendent Jasbeer Singh Bhatti told Hindustan Times that 17 prisoners allegedly involved in the scam were currently on trial. The jail has a total of 920 prisoners, including 105 women, he said.
"We have a six-bed hospital inside the jail but there is only one temporary doctor attached to the jail. The doctor visits for only 10 days a month and is available only for 30 hours in a month, so medical facilities are stretched," Bhatti said.
"Even in Tomar’s case, we made every possible attempt to save him. As soon as he complained of severe chest pain, we called a doctor who treated him at the prison hospital. After treatment, Tomar looked normal as his blood pressure come down," he said.
"A little later, he complained of anxiety for which he was taken to Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital situated barely one kilometre from the district jail. He was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit at 11.42pm and doctors declared him dead by 12.30am."
Bhatti said the prison authorities decided to approach the court with a request to shift the 17 prisoners as they were under "tremendous pressure".
"After the series of deaths and the case came into the limelight, all 17 prisoners who are involved in the Vyapam scam are under tremendous pressure and the chances of their falling ill is very high. So it is better to shift them to some other prison where permanent medical facilities are available," Bhatti said.
Some 40 people linked to the scam have died over the past few years, triggering allegations that witnesses, whistleblowers and accused are being silenced.