156 killed over MPPEB scam, Opposition leader Katare says
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Satyadev Katare on Thursday said that as many as 156 people had died in connection with the professional examination board (PEB) scam so far.
Katare said that the figure includes those booked in the scam, those who were suspects, the whistleblowers, the witnesses and family members of those involved in the scam in the years-long probe that still is underway.
“The deaths of Namrata Damor and Dr DK Sakalle were in suspicious circumstances but were not investigated properly. However, I have information that 156 persons have died so far-the deaths may be due to suicide, poisoning or any other reason but this is the figure”, the senior Congress leader said when asked about authenticity of the figure.
The Special Investigation Team (SIT) monitoring the Special Task Force (STF) investigation told PTI that it knew of 30 such deaths.
Sources in the STF say the figure of those who died in mysterious circumstances is around half-a-dozen, while many others have died of natural causes, illnesses or accidents in the last couple of years.
“No one can contest this figure”, Katare claimed, but did not provide a list of the names he suspects having died.
“This is the world’s biggest education scam and all efforts are now being made to suppress the probe. Gulab Singh Kirar, a prime accused, is not being arrested just because of his links. There are hundreds of others who aren’t caught either”, Katare said.
“Nearly 2,000 persons have been arrested, hundreds are still at large. There are more than 60 separate cases, each having hundreds of witnesses (the overall figure of those linked to scam in this sway getting into thousands-obviously many of them die of different causes, but it can’t be termed as suspicious deaths”, he added.