Six booked for UP health dept clerk's death

Kapil Sibal seeks probe into deaths linked to health scam

Six senior health officials, including the chief medical officer (CMO) of Lakhimpur-Kheri district, have been booked in connection with the mysterious death of a “babu” deployed at the Community Health Centre at Pasgawan in the district.

Earlier, the clerk's wife Mithilesh had lodged an application with the police after which they were booked.

Meanwhile, the family of the clerk Mahendra Sharma has sought a CBI probe into the death. A senior official from Lucknow was also rushed to the health centre to investigate the matter while a special police team has been set up to probe into the matter, sources here said. The officials, who have been booked, included CMO Dr J P Bhargava, his deputy Balbir Singh the health centre in-charge Dr S C Gupta.

Notwithstanding, Union minister Kapil Sibal on Friday also demanded a CBI probe into the deaths relating to the scam. Speaking to reporters here, Sibal asked Chief Minister Mayawati to “break her silence” on the deaths.

Sharma's body was recovered from his official residence at Pasgawan health centre on Wednesday. The body had several marks of injury. The autopsy examination also revealed that he had been tortured. The possibility of his being murdered was not ruled out.

Sources said that some officials had been pressurising him to put his signature on some files but he had refused. He had also written to his seniors in this regard but they did not take any action.

Sharma was the fifth victim of the multi-crore NRHM scam. Earlier two chief medical officers had been shot dead while, a deputy chief medical officer was found dead inside a Lucknow jail under 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 has carried out searches at the houses of various officials, including bureaucrats and businessmen associated with the family welfare department. The CBI has arrested eight people in this connection and had also conducted raids at several places.

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