BHOPAL-A multi-crore scam in Madhya Pradesh got murkier on July 5 with a mysterious third death linked to the scandal but the Centre ruled out a CBI probe despite mounting pressure amid allegations of witnesses being deliberately eliminated.
At least 40 people including witnesses, accused and beneficiaries connected to the racket have been found dead since 2013, when the arrest of 20 people in Indore blew the lid off the massive scam. It has since snowballed into the biggest crisis to threaten Chouhan’s political career and led to over 2,000 arrests, including politicians, bureaucrats and middlemen.
Police say an organised racket employed medics from as far away as Patna and Lucknow to impersonate medical students and write recruitment exams since as early as 2008. Middlemen manipulated seating arrangements and forged answer sheets in exchange of lakhs of rupees.
But many whistleblowers, who initially spearheaded the investigation, say they now fear for their lives after scores of people, many of them in their 20s, were found dead in recent months. Some bodies have been found under bridges and on railway tracks while other died of freak accidents or mysterious illnesses, sometimes while behind bars.
A special task force probing the scam has visited medical colleges in Bihar several times in the past two weeks in search of 40 medical students from Bihar who helped impersonate candidates. Around 125 medicos from UP are also wanted for their alleged role as “professional solvers”, who were paid up to Rs 5 lakh to answer exam questions on behalf of the candidates.
The multi-layered MP public examination board scam, also known as Vyapam scam after the board’s Hindi acronym.