Jhabua (MP) : The Vyapam scam turned murkier on Friday with an investigative journalist working for a leading Delhi-based news channel dying under mysterious circumstances soon after he interviewed parents of a girl who was found dead after her name figured in the massive admission and recruitment scandal.
Minutes after the interview, 38-year-old Akshay Singh started frothing at the mouth. He was rushed to civil hospital and later to a private hospital, but doctors failed to revive him. From there he was taken to another hospital in nearby Dahod in Gujarat, where he was declared brought dead.
An official said late on Saturday night that a panel of three doctors was conducting post-mortem in Dahod.
Akshay, who worked for TV Today group, had called on the parents of Namrata Damor, whose body had been found near railway tracks in Ujjain district on January 7, 2012.
Today’s incident took place in Meghnagar near Jhabua town. Namrata’s father Mehtab Singh Damor said Akshay and two others visited their house this afternoon. After the interview was over, one of them was sent to get certain papers photocopied.
As Akshay was waiting outside Damor’s house, he suddenly started frothing at the mouth and collapsed, he said.
Jhabua district’s Superintendent of Police Abid Khan confirmed that a person named Akshay Singh had died in Meghnagar.
At least 25 accused/witnesses have died so far in Vyapam scam, a massive admission and recruitment racket involving several bureaucrats and politicians, and the opposition Congress has been demanding a CBI probe into the matter.
Some reports have claimed that 44 people associated with the scam have died so far. 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 Lucknow on March 25 this year.
Ram Naresh Yadav, also a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was himself made an accused in the scam before getting relief from court. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said only after the post-mortem report is out, that one can know about the cause of the journalist’s death.
He said a full probe into the Vyapam issue is being monitored by the High Court. On the demand for a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam, Chouhan said the High Court has held that the ongoing probe was fine.
“It is my responsibility to ensure that the probe is done properly and moves in the right direction,” he added.
Meanwhile, the India Today Group said that the reason behind Akshay’s death was “not clear” and hoped that doctors and law enforcement agencies were able to establish it.
“The cause of his sudden demise is not yet clear. We mourn the death of our valued colleague. Our thoughts and prayers are with Akshay’s family. We hope that doctors and law enforcement agencies are able to establish the cause of Akshay’s death,” the Group said in a statement.