Madhya Pradesh governor Ramnaresh Yadav's son Shailesh Yadav was found dead in mysterious circumstances in his Lucknow home on Wednesday, a month after he was named in an FIR in the
Professional Examination Board (PEB) scam
Eyewitnesses said there was an injury on 50-year-old Shailesh’s head and traces of blood on his face. Sources said signs of poisoning were also found on the body but there was no official word on this.
Police said the cause of death could not be ascertained during an autopsy and doctors had preserved the viscera for further tests.
The body was found at a residence on Mall Avenue that had been allotted to Shailesh’s father when he was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. A family member and Congress MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi told reporters that Shailesh had acute diabetes and high blood pressure. Joshi claimed this caused a brain haemorrhage.
A domestic help told Hindustan Times that Shailesh went to bed after dinner on Tuesday night and was found lying on the floor by his wife at around 2 am. He said doctors were immediately called but he was declared dead.
Lucknow’s SSP Yashasvi Yadav said preserved samples would be sent for further examination to confirm the cause of death. District magistrate Raj Shekhar said a team of forensic experts had also visited the home and examined the body.
VB Singh, the officer in-charge of Gautampalli police station in Lucknow, said Shailesh’s family informed authorities about the death but did not give any reason or seek police action.
“He was under stress after his name figured in the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board or Vyapam scam. This might be the reason behind his death as far as we think," Satyadeo Tripathi, a Congress leader and family friend, said after visiting Shailesh’s residence.
Ramnaresh Yadav, 86, currently in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Bhopal, was not informed about his son's death, Raj Bhavan officials. He is not in a condition to be discharged, they said.
“It’s unlikely that he will be able to attend his son’s cremation,” said an official.
Shailesh was named as an accused in an FIR filed on February 18 for recommending 10 people for appointment as teachers in 2013. He was untraceable when a Madhya Pradesh police team visited Lucknow to question him.
The governor has been under pressure to quit after being named in another FIR for allegedly accepting bribes from five people for recruitment as forest guards. The Union government reportedly asked him to step down but the governor has clung on to his position.
The multi-layered scam in admission and recruitment tests has led to the arrest of more than 1,800 people and caused major embarrassment for chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Justice Chandresh Bhushan, chairman of the Special Investigation Team that is monitoring the probe into the scam, recently told Hindustan Times that Shailesh would be arrested once there was enough evidence against him.
Another accused in the scam, Veerpal Singh Yadav, told police he had handed over a list of 10 candidates and Rs 3 lakh for each of them to Shailesh through Vijay Pal Yadav, said to be a close aide of the governor's son.
Ramnaresh Yadav was appointed governor of Madhya Pradesh in 2011 and his term will end in 2016.
The governor was admitted to a private hospital on March 17 after complaining of breathlessness. He was moved to a private ward when his condition improved. His health worsened again on Monday night and he was shifted back to the ICU.
Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and ministers Gopal Bhargava and Jayant Malaiya visited the governor on Wednesday afternoon but didn’t tell him about his son’s death. Bhargava told reporters, “His condition is better now.”
Doctors said the governor’s condition was improving gradually. “If his condition improves further on Thursday, the doctors will decide to tell him about the death of his son and he might be taken to Lucknow. If he is taken to Lucknow, a team of doctors will accompany him,” said a Raj Bhavan official.