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Vyapam scam: CBI registers murder case; starts journalist death probe

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday registered a case of murder against unknown persons for the death of medical student Namrata Damor in its investigation of the multi-layered Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh.

bhopal Updated: Jul 18, 2015 13:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Vyapam scam,Namrata Damor,Bhopal
Namrata Damor, an accused in the Vyapam scam, was found dead on railway tracks in 2012. (File Photo)

The CBI initiated a murder probe on Friday into the mysterious death of a Vyapam scam suspect that state police had termed suicide, as the agency also kicked off a preliminary inquiry to determine how a TV journalist died this month while interviewing the medical student’s father.

The body of 20-year-old Namrata Damor was found near railway tracks in Ujjain more than three years ago with an initial post-mortem suggesting she was murdered.

But police said she took her own life and closed the case last year based on a second autopsy report and the opinion of a medico-legal expert who studied photographs and circumstantial evidence before ruling out the possibility of murder.

Damor allegedly secured admission into an Indore medical college illegally, emerging as a tiny strand from a tangled web of powerful politicians, bureaucrats, doctors and businessmen suspected to be involved in the massive rigging of job and college admission tests.

Her family and activists raised questions over the manner in which the case was closed while pointing out that the first autopsy report said the woman died because of “violent asphyxia as a result of smothering”, which indicated it was a murder.

Suspicions over the death reared up again when TV reporter Akshay Singh died on July 4 shortly after he was taken ill while talking to Damor’s father at her home in Madhya Pradesh’s Meghnagar city.

Singh started frothing at the mouth and fell unconscious in the middle of the interview. His colleagues first took him to a government hospital which sent him to a private facility where he was declared dead on arrival.

A doctor at the public medical centre said the journalist possibly suffered a heart attack, but his family questioned this saying the 38-year-old never had any serious health problems.

Delhi’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is examining his viscera to ascertain the cause of death.

The Supreme Court handed over the scam probe to the CBI this month after more than 40 accused, beneficiaries, whistle-blowers and witnesses died mysteriously.

Many allege the deaths are a systematic attempt to scuttle the investigation that has already singed top bureaucrats and politicians.

Apart from the two cases, the investigating agency on Friday filed two FIRs in connection with alleged illegalities in entrance examinations conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), or Vyapam.

Read: BJP suspends leader Gulab Singh Kirar named in Vyapam scam by CBI

Vyapam scam: Five mysteries that CBI will have to solve

First Published: Jul 17, 2015 15:34 IST