Hindustan Times (Jalandhar)
Victim of Vyapam haunts Chouhan 2 yrs after death
BHOPAL: A woman, who the opposition Congress claimed was recommended for a teacher’s job by the wife of Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, is on the list of suspicious deaths related to the Vyapam scam, HT has found.
A state-level probe into the scam had earlier said Premlata Pandey died of liver cancer in 2013, but the CBI had decided to probe her death, the spokesperson of the investigating agency said.
Attempts by HT to trace Premlata’s family, too, proved futile. All the three mobile phone numbers of her brother-in-law Rakesh Pandey, also an accused in the scam, were switched off. The family’s addresses on police records, too, could not be traced.
The CBI took over the investigation in the multi-crore recruit- ment and admission scandal earlier this month. It is now looking into several mysterious deaths including that of Premlata. Her name was recommended by Chouhan’s wife Sadhna, the Congress had alleged in a press statement in February.
“We are taking up those cases for preliminary inquiry in which required information has been received,” CBI spokesperson Kanchan Prasad said over phone from Delhi.
Sources, however, said cases that looked prima facie suspicious were being taken up by the agency.
Premlata and her sister-inlaw Sandhya had both made it to the list of successful candidates allegedly with the help of a racket that helped candidates rig the recruitment tests conducted by the MP Professional Examination Board, popularly known by its Hindi acronym Vyapam. Their candidatures were, however, cancelled later. The special task force had earlier found that Premlata died of liver cancer in 2013. At least 40 people with links to the scam have died, many under mysterious circumstances, which the Congress sees as a part of a conspiracy to silence key witnesses.
Senior Cong ress leader Digvijaya Singh had earlier released details of purported text messages to allege that Chouhan’s wife had recommended the names of Premlata and Sandhya for selection as teachers. Singh didn’t know that one of the women named by him was dead. “Even I had not noticed this. This is new ( infor mation),” Singh said on Tuesday. Chief minister Chouhan has denied any links to the scam.
CBI PROBING THE DEATH OF THE WOMAN WHO THE CONG CLAIMED WAS RECOMMENDED FOR A TEACHER’S JOB BY CM CHOUHAN’S WIFE