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

A deep, dark plot

  • Manas Chakravarty
  • |
  • Updated: May 26, 2012 23:11 IST

West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee alleged that CPI(M) was plotting with Maoists to kill her with the help of Pakistan's ISI and financed by North Korea, Venezuela and Hungary - PTI, May 23

A lot of very naïve people, who have no idea how the world really works, have said Banerjee is making ridiculous statements. To those folks, all I can say is, in Shakespeare's words, "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Shakespeare, in case you didn't know, is a corruption of Sheikh S Pir, Mughal India's greatest poet. Ladies and gentlemen, it's time to open your eyes.

Why should a conspiracy by North Korea be such an odd thing? Everyone knows you can't trust them. They run one of the most paranoid regimes in history. Signing a death warrant would be child's play for Kim Jong-un.

Why would he target Banerjee? Plain, old-fashioned jealousy. He's green with envy that while Banerjee made it to Time magazine's list of most influential persons, he featured in their rogues' gallery. He has never forgiven her for that. Remember the recent North Korean missile launch that failed? Who do you think it was aimed at? At Banerjee, of course. You don't believe it? You'll be telling me next the guy sitting in the adjoining cubicle, that slob who got a bigger increment than I did, is not a shape-shifting alien reptile.

It is also eminently reasonable that Venezuela plays a big role in any plot to bump off Banerjee. Its boss Hugo Chavez hates America. Why is it so hard to believe he'll try and blow up Hillary's best friend? Do you know what Chavez told Manmohan Singh when he met him? He said, "Hello". Figure out what he meant by that and everything will be crystal clear.

What about Hungary then, you'll ask. Why on earth will anybody in that small European nation want to bump off an Indian chief minister? Ah, you probably have no idea about the violent nature of the people there. Well, here's some stuff I picked up from the internet on the French Revolution: "In July 1789, hungry mobs attacked the gates of Paris." And here are a few recent headlines: 'Hungry mobs stage riots in Nanking', 'Argentine police battle hungry mobs'. Ignore the minor irritant of these illiterates wrongly spelling Hungary as Hungry - what's important is that Hungary is obviously in the middle of every revolt. Their tentacles extend everywhere. And, as clinching evidence, here's the link I was looking for - a news report saying 'Zardari, Gilani are power-hungry'. See the Hungarian connection with the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) now, exactly as Didi said?

This is what actually happened. The Venezuelans, famous for their beauty queens, sent them to the CPI(M), who made them read Lenin. This bored them so much they eloped with a Hungary mob. A hungry nuclear scientist, looking at them, said 'Wow'. This secret coded message was passed on by the Maoists to the ISI boss, who promptly lost it. To cover up his incompetence, he sent the false message 'Hey' to Kim Jong-un in exchange for a haircut in the Kim Jong-il style. Naturally, since the wrong code word was given, the missile strike failed miserably.

Sources tell me they'll be roping in the Illuminati next to do the job. But that fridge in the corner is giving me dirty looks. Could it be part of the vast conspiracy, in cahoots with the ceiling fan? Burn this column after reading.

(Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint. Views expressed by the author are personal.)


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