Vyapam scam: Rajnath urges 'thorough' probe in journo's death
Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday called up Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and asked him to conduct a thorough investigation into the mysterious death a TV journalist covering the Vyapam scam.india Updated: Jul 06, 2015 12:17 IST
Union home minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday called up Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and asked him to conduct a thorough investigation into the mysterious death a TV journalist covering the Vyapam scam.
During their 10-minute telephonic conversation, Singh asked Chouhan to order a thorough investigation into the death of TV journalist Akshay Singh in Madhya Pradesh's Jhabua district.
Aaj Tak journalist Singh died Saturday soon after having interviewed the parents of Namrata Damor, an accused in the scam, whose body had been found under near railway tracks in Ujjain district on January 7, 2012.
38-year-old Singh, who started frothing at the mouth, was rushed to civil hospital and later to a private facility, but doctors failed to revive him. He was then taken to another hospital in nearby Dahod in Gujarat, where he was declared brought dead.
Grieving mother of slain journalist Akshay Singh at Nigam Bodh Ghat crematorium in New Delhi. (Vipin Kumar/ HT Photo)
Autopsy results are awaited. CM Chouhan has agreed to conduct the viscera test at AIIMS after the journalist's family demanded that it should be held outside the state.
Hours later, Arun Sharma, a dean of a Jabalpur medical college said to be probing fake examinees in the Vyapam scam, was also found dead under mysterious circumstances at a hotel in south-west Delhi's Dwarka.
The suspicious circumstances behind Singh's death prompted finance minister Arun Jaitley to call for a "very fair inquiry."
"Since various issues are being raised with respect to the circumstances of this death, it would be absolutely important that a very fair inquiry is held so that all doubts can be put to rest," Jaitley tweeted.
Chouhan has so far defiantly resisted opposition Congress demands for a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe into the Vyapam scam.
“I ordered a probe into the Vyapam scam. There is no need for a CBI investigation… The state government is not interfering in the probe at all; we will also investigate the (mysterious) deaths (linked to the case), not just the scam," Chouhan told a hurriedly-called news conference in Bhopal.
Congress questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "silence", with spokesperson RPN Singh said, "It is very simple for the state government or Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh to write a letter for a CBI inquiry and the central government will act on it."
The party said the ongoing probe by the STF-SIT combine has failed to solve the case.
Aam Aadmi party too mounted a sharp attack on the MP government, with Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal calling for a CBI probe into the scam.
Vyapam scam n all deaths so far ought to be thoroughly investigated. Guilty must be punished. Something MUST be done to prevent more deaths.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 5, 2015
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and CM Kejriwal attended the cremation of Akshay Singh and consoled family members. Delhi BJP chief Satish Upadhyaya, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, DPCC chief Ajay Maken and Congress leaders Digvijay Singh and Randeep Singh Surjewala also attended the cremation at Nigambodh Ghat in East Delhi.
(With inputs from PTI)