Inside the Vyapam Death Trap

0
130

Anant-Ram-TagoreAnant Ram Tagore

Cause of Death: Cancer Died on 7 November 2012

Charges: Arranging money for bribery and using wrong means to get his son a medical seat

“..The doctor inflicted immense mental torture on my father and me. The STF physically assaulted at least 45 students..” – Anant’s Son

 


Anant Ram Tagore, a resident of the Dalit-dominated Uttampura in Morena, was an accused in the scam along with his son Jagdish. ASI Anant Ram was accused of arranging money for bribery and misusing his position to get his son Jagdish a medical seat. Jagdish was a student of Netaji Subash Chandra Bose Medical College in Jabalpur (2011 batch), which became infamous because of several forged admissions and the death of two of its deans in suspicious circumstances. “Dr BK Guha (a member of college investigative committee) inflicted immense mental torture on my father and me,” says Jagdish. “The STF physically assaulted at least 45 students of which one even committed suicide.”

He further accused Guha of protecting at least eight students during the college-level investigation in lieu of a bribe. “Are we terrorists?” he asks. “They summon us four-five times every month. The STF has been deliberately harassing us. Why aren’t they taking action against the chief minister’s niece Neha Chauhan, who was recruited through the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission using fraudulent means?”


Pramod-SharmaPramod Sharma (Rinku)

Cause of Death: Suicide Died on 21 April 2013

Charges: Middleman

“..Reasons for the blood in his mouth, on his forehead and behind the ear, and marks on his neck were unclear both to us and the police..” – Pramod’s Brother


Pramod Sharma was an alleged middleman related to the Vyapam scam who died in suspicious conditions. “Police informed us that my brother committed suicide. But the reasons for the blood in his mouth, on his forehead and behind the ear, and marks on his neck were unclear both to us and the police,” says his brother Mahabir Sharma, an ayurvedic practitioner in Amba. The police inquest report and the post-mortem report indicate that Pramod’s death might not be due to suicide.

Mahabir’s life has turned upside down. “No one came to inquire about my brother’s death then, but someone or the other knocks on my door every day now,” he says. The ayurvedic practice, too, has gone downhill with fewer patients approaching him now.

In 2010 Mahabir had issued a declaration in a local newspaper stating that he was severing ties with Pramod. “I did that because several cases of fraud were registered against my brother and his creditors had begun coming to me,” he explains. Mahabir neither denies nor accepts his brother’s involvement in the scam . He finds himself in a fix as even after Pramod’s death, there is no escaping the fallout of his alleged deeds. “How can I take anyone’s name? I have to look after my family and cannot endanger them by speaking anything about the police, the politicians or Vyapam,” he says.


Bunty-SikarwarBunty Sikarwar

Cause of Death: Suicide Died on 21 January 2014

Charges: Middleman

“..In the past two-three months he was under some pressure and had also stopped using his mobile..” – Bunty’s Wife


Another case of declared ‘suicide’ is that of Bunty Sikarwar, resident of Sainik Colony in Gwalior. Accused in the Vyapam scam, Bunty committed suicide on 21 January 2014, leaving behind his 80-year-old maternal grandmother, wife, a son and a daughter. According to RTI activist Ashish Chaturvedi, Bunty was an important link who had done a deal for Pankaj Singh Tomar of the 2009 PMT batch. Bunty was unemployed and had subsequently got in touch with the PMT racket. The alleged association apparently led to his death.

“He never worked and used to roam around aimlessly,” Bunty’s wife Mala tells TEHELKA. “In the past two-three months he was under some pressure and had also stopped using his mobile.” The family had burnt all relics of his memories, including his clothes, documents and photographs, a few days after his death.

Bunty’s grandmother, who refuses to answer any questions, keeps interrupting the unknown visitors, mostly from the media, who are constantly streaming into her house. “Kuch karna hai toh in bachchon ke liye karo. Mere marne ke baad inka kya hoga (Do something for these kids if you can. What will happen to them after I die?)” she asks.

[email protected]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Comment moderation is enabled. Your comment may take some time to appear.