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.


    Read:

    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

Outrage over Delhi gangrape grows, protesters reach Rashtrapati Bhavan

  • PTI, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Dec 21, 2012 22:25 IST

Outraged at the gangrape of a young student in a moving bus in New Delhi, protesters hit the streets for the fifth day in a row demanding justice for the victim with a large number of women activists and students marching towards Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Demanding stringent action against rapists, protesters gathered at Rajpath, marched towards Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate while another group blocked traffic near Safdurjung Hospital where the girl is being treated.

One of the girl students, who was at Raisina Hills, managed to go near the Rashtrapati Bhavan but was escorted back later.

"They say we need permission to enter there. Why do we need permission? When we are attacked and harassed, nobody needs any permission. We are here to raise our voices and for that we need permission," the girl identified as Swati said.

Protesters under the aegis of AIDWA, NFIW, YWCA and JNUSU among others started their march from Rajpath and as they reached Vijay Chowk, they went past the barricades erected at the entrance of Raisina Hills and moved towards Rashtrapati Bhavan and South and North Blocks.

Police stopped the protesters near Rashtrapati Bhavan. Carrying placards and shouting slogans, the protesters demanded stringent punishment for rapists.

Two days ago in a similar protest, around 200 people had gathered near North Block. They dispersed only after home minister Sushilkumar Shinde agreed to meet a delegation of JNUSU students.

The protesters at Raisina Hills later marched towards India Gate. A group of people also staged protest outside Safdarjung Hospital and blocked traffic for sometime.

The protesters demanded speedy justice for the victim.


 

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Delhi gangrape: Committee formed to monitor girl's treatment

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