Politics

Doctor Connected to Vyapam Probe Found Dead in Delhi Hotel

New Delhi: The dean of a medical college in Jabalpur, suspected of having links to some accused in the Vyapam scam, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a hotel in south-west Delhi’s Dwarka this morning.

The body of Dr. Arun Sharma, dean at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Medical College in Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh, was found in his room at the hotel, police said. When the door was not opened after repeated knocks, the staff entered the room using a duplicate key and found his body, they added. A bottle of alcohol almost empty was found in the room.

Sharma had also vomited and there were signs of heavy drinking, said a senior police officer, adding forensic evidence had been collected and the body sent for post mortem.

Asked about reported links of Sharma with Vyapam scam, Joint Commissioner of Police (South West) Dipender Pathak said police is “covering all the angles” in its investigation. Incidentally, Sharma is the second dean of the medical college to die under mysterious circumstances in the last one year.

The burnt body of another dean of the same medical college, Dr. D.K. Sakalle, who had been reportedly looking into fake admissions in the medical college in the wake of the MPPEB (Vyapam) scam, was found in his home on July 4 last year.

A journalist named Akshay Singh, working for the TV Today group, had mysteriously died yesterday after having interviewed the parents of a girl who had been found dead near railway tracks after her name figured in the Vyapam scam.

At least 25 accused and witnesses have died so far in the Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment racket involving several bureaucrats and politicians, and the opposition Congress has been demanding a CBI probe into the matter.

Sharma, who had checked into the hotel in Dwarka yesterday, was scheduled to fly to Agartala this morning for an official inspection of a medical college there, police said.

Meanwhile, MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said the government will write to the High Court-appointed SIT probing the Vyapam scam to “thoroughly investigate” the death of Akshay Singh.

Addressing a press conference in Bhopal, Chouhan said his government will have no objection if the High Court ordered a probe into the scam by any other agency, including CBI, as being demanded by Congress.

He said the final report of the post mortem examination, which was videographed, was awaited.

“Every death is unfortunate and sad. We feel all the deaths (in the scam) should be probed…The state government had earlier written to the high court for probing the deaths,” he said, adding that he will be writing again.

Meanwhile, reacting to Sharma’s death, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh, who has petitioned the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into the scam, tweeted, “Dr. Arun Sharma Dean of Jabalpur Medical College found dead in a Delhi Hotel. His father NK Sharma was a Minister, MP and MPCC President.”

In another tweet, he said “Incidentally Dr. Sakalle earlier Dean of Medical College Jabalpur was found dead burnt in his residence lawns at 730 am 2 yrs back.”

Singh further said, “He (Sakalle) was taking strong action against irregular admissions in Medical Colleges through Vyapam. No Govt said it was suicide.”

Around a fortnight back, the SIT had submitted a report to the High Court wherein it said 23 accused and witnesses in the Vyapam scam had died “unnatural” deaths. Since then two more accused died under mysterious circumstances. Some reports put the figure at over 40.

The death of Akshay Singh and now Sharma’s has muddied the the water even further.