UP PHC head clerk found dead at residence

Death may be linked to states health scam

The multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam here just got murkier with the body of a health official being recovered from his residence on Thursday.

The official, Mahendra Sharma, was posted at the Community Helath Centre (CHC) at Pasgawan in Uttar Pradesh’s Lakhimpur-Kheri district, about 150 km from here. He  had been missing since February 7, according to family sources.

According to sources, the body bore injury marks. The possibility of his being murdered was not ruled out.

“The babu was associated with the NRHM work in the area….after the scam was unearthed, his seniors had allegedly started pressurising him,” sources said.

“Sharma had slipped into depression…his behaviour was not normal since the past few weeks.….he had written to senior officials in the state capital but no action was taken”, the family members said.

“He was transferred several times during the past 12 months…his salary was also stopped”, they alleged, adding that the locks of the almirah in which Sharma used to keep the documents, had been broken into and documents had been tampered with.

The chief medical officer of the district J P Bhargava said that a panel of three doctors had conducted the post-mortem examination of Sharma.

Police said that the matter would be investigated thoroughly after the report was received.

Sharma is the fifth victim of the multi-crore scam. Earlier, two chief medical officers had been shot dead while a deputy chief medical officer was found dead inside Lucknow jail in mysterious circumstances.

Only a few weeks back, a senior official in the health department had committed suicide under suspicious circumstances in the state capital.

The Allahabad High Court had directed the CBI to inquire into the scam.
The CBI carried out searches at the houses of various officials, including bureaucrats and businessmen associated with the family welfare department. Eight people were arrested in this connection.

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