Now, Vyapam central observer found dead

Now, Vyapam central observer found dead

Nearly three months after the CBI took over the probe of the multi-layered Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, retired Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer from MP Vijay Bahadur Singh, who had been observer for various Vyapam exams, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in Odisha on Thursday. 

GRP (Jharsuguda) Deputy Superintendent of Police Dilip Bag said Bahadur prima facie died after falling from a moving train. The post-mortem report is still awaited, he told mediapersons. 

Family sources, the 65-year-old and his wife Nita had gone to Puri in Odisha to attend a reunion of 1978-batch IFS officers. On Thursday, the couple was returning to Bhopal by the Puri-Jodhpur Express.

Nita said Singh went missing near Raigarh station, some 70 km from Jharsuguda. He is believed to have fallen off the fast-moving train and died.

His body, found on railway tracks, was brought to Bhopal and his last rites conducted. His family in Bhopal refused to meet mediapersons.

Singh was the central observer for nearly a dozen entrance and recruitment examinations conducted by Vyapam. He was also the central observer during the “Contractual Teachers Class-III” eligibility exam in 2011, and it is for alleged irregularities in this and other exams that the state’s ex-technical education minister Laxmikant Sharma and many other government officers are in jail.

Central observers are appointed by the MP Professional Examination Board (known by Hindi acronym “Vyapam”) to ensure transparency and fairness of entrance and recruitment tests. 

Singh’s death revived memories of those of medical student Namrata Damor, whose body was found near railway tracks in the Ujjain district in 2012. The CBI is probing that case, too.

At least 32 deaths

At least 32 suspicious deaths of people related in some way or the other to the Vyapam scam has already been reported in a span of about two years.

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court had observed that the mysterious deaths had suddenly stopped after the case was transferred to the CBI.

Expressing concern over Singh’s death, whistleblowers and right activists have demanded that the CBI probe it and security be provided to all those who had exposed the Vyapam scam on several fronts.

“The murderous era in the Vyapam scam that had stopped after the announcement of the CBI probe on July 9 has restarted with this suspicious death,” Rights Activist Ajay Dubey told mediapersons here on Sunday.

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