Rs 3,000-crore department sees third mystery death
The death of suspended deputy chief medical officer of the family welfare department Dr YS Sachan in a Lucknow jail on Wednesday has once again exposed the hazards of the job that involves handling more than Rs 3,000 crore a year. Rajesh Kumar Singh reports. In crosshairsUpdated: Jun 24, 2011 01:22 IST
The death of suspended deputy chief medical officer of the family welfare department Dr YS Sachan in a Lucknow jail on Wednesday has once again exposed the hazards of the job that involves handling more than Rs 3,000 crore a year.
In 13 months the department, which in May 2010 received an annual grant of Rs 3,150 crore, has lost three officers.
Sachan, who was the prime accused in the murder of Singh, was found dead inside a toilet in the jail hospital. He was in jail since April 5 on corruption charges and was yet to be questioned in the murder case.
The postmortem report contradicted the police theory that he hanged himself. It also confirmed death at least eight hours before the body was spotted.
On April 7, Dr Rajendra Singh, joint director (administration) in the family welfare department, had registered an FIR.
"The department officials siphoned out funds by submitting fake bills and vouchers for the construction of the health centres, purchase of the drug, hiring of the vehicles and recruitment of the manpower," the complaint said.
On April 26, state cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told media Sachan and other officers were indulging in financial irregularities.
The timing and manner of Sachan's death strengthens speculation about a deep-rooted conspiracy to save high-profile officials and politicians, say sources. On Thursday, he was to be taken on police remand for interrogation.
Though the spotlight is on department officials, the police have questioned BSP MLA from Barhaj Ram Prasad Jaiswal about his association with contractors who supplied drugs to the department. A BSP MP and MLC are also on the police radar.
"Due to political pressure we have not been able to interrogate the politicians," a police officer said on condition of anonymity.
Addressing journalists, Shashank Shekhar Singh, however, insisted that it was a case of suicide.
While suspending five jail officials, the government firmly ruled out the possibility of a CBI investigation into the case.
First Published: Jun 23, 2011 23:54 IST