Vyapam scam: CBI inquiry whereto?
Posted January 24, 2016on:
It is over six months that Supreme Court entrusted to CBI the investigation of Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s notorious Vyapam scam which destroyed careers of thousands of young girls and boys. So far there is nothing in public knowledge to suggest if CBI is genuinely trying to bring culprits to book or following its past tradition of quietly burying politically sensitive cases such as Jhirniya arms recovery case or Malik Makbooja case.
The mysterious death of Delhi TV reporter Akshay Singh, followed by two more mysterious deaths in the next two days, had brought the murky goings-on in the investigation of Vyapam scam to a boiling point. The Supreme Court, which had earlier turned down the pleas for a CBI inquiry, not only allowed the fresh set of petitions but also showed its concern by directing the CBI to take charge of the investigation from the Special Task Force (STF) of Madhya Pradesh police within five days.
TV reporter Akshay Singh was interviewing Mehtab Singh Damor at his home in Meghnagar in Jhabua district on July 4 when he was said to have collapsed and died before he could be taken to the nearest health centre. Dean and Professor of Forensic Medicine at the Jabalpur Medical College Arun Sharma was found dead a day later in his hotel room in Delhi where he was on official business. On July 6, trainee police sub-inspector Anamika Kushwaha was found ‘drowned’ in a lake near Sagar even though she was a professional swimmer. All three were linked by a common thread: Vyapam scam.
On assignment to do stories for his organisation, Akshay Singh was said to have procured some crucial details about the death of Namrata Singh, a Vyapam-recruited MBBS student of Indore Medical College, whose body was found near railway tracks in Ujjain district in 2012. It was termed by the police as a case of suicide. Having spent a few days in and around Indore, Akshay had reached Meghnagar on July 4 to talk to the family members of Namrata Singh.
Dr Arun Sharma had stepped into the shoes of Dr D K Sakalley, Dean and Professor of Forensic Medicine at the Jabalpur Medical College, who had mysteriously died a year earlier. Dr Sakalley was in-charge of the in-house investigation team of the College to probe Vyapam scam and had identified 93 students who were said to have qualified through fraudulent means. He lived, along with his wife, in the official quarters inside the Medical College campus and was to retire at the end of 2014. In the morning of July 4, 2014, his wife went on her usual morning walk. By the time she returned, Dr Sakalley was engulfed in flames, not even in a position to talk. His unfinished work of identifying the Vyapam scam beneficiaries was taken over by his successor, Dr Arun Sharma.