2 more Vyapam scam accused die, 24 accused have died so far

Bhopal: Two more accused in the high-profile Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam died in the past 24 hours at Gwalior and Indore, adding another murky dimension to the massive scandal in which several politicians and bureaucrats are allegedly involved.

Narendra Singh Tomar, an accused in the Vyapam scam last night died in Indore jail.
Narendra Singh Tomar, an accused in the Vyapam scam last night died in Indore jail.

While the death of 40-year-old Dr Rajendra Arya at Birla Hospital in Gwalior this morning was reported to be due to some disease, that of Narendra Singh Tomar (29) in Indore jail was under mysterious circumstances.

As many as 24 accused, including Tomar, and witnesses have died so far under mysterious conditions in the scandal.

“Arya died at Birla Hospital in Gwalior this morning,” ASP Virendra Jain told PTI.

“Arya, who had been on bail for one year, had gone to Kota and was returning when his condition turned critical,” Jain said, quoting his family members who said he was suffering from some disease.

According to the officer, Arya hailed from Sagar but has worked in Gwalior and Chambal regions.

Arya, who reportedly holds an MBBS degree, had allegedly helped two students clear Pre-Medical Tests (PMTs) conducted by MPPEB in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

In the second incident, Tomar, a veterinarian, complained of chest pain last night and was rushed to Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital where he was declared brought dead, official sources said today.

City Superintendent of Police Ajay Jain said a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the death of Tomar, who was posted as Assistant Veterinary Officer at Raisen before being embroiled in the MPPEB scam, also known as Vyapam scam.

He was an accused in the Pre-Medical Test conducted by MPPEB in 2009. Tomar was said to have arranged for impostors who had written the papers in place of genuine aspirants.

Two days ago, the Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the scandal had submitted to the Madhya Pradesh High Court that 23 deceased in the MPPEB scam had died unnatural deaths so far. Some reports have claimed 40 such deaths.

The most high-profile death was that of Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.

Shailesh (50) was found dead at his father’s residence in Mall Avenue area of Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow on March 25 this year.

Ram Naresh Yadav, a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was also made an accused in the MPPEB scam before getting relief from the court.

Several politicians, including former Education Minister Laxmikant Sharma, a host of officials and scores of aspirants have been arrested in the case.

Congress has even accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of complicity in the scam.