Bhopal, Oct 18 (IANS) After a break of about three months in the chain of mysterious or otherwise deaths of Vyapam scam related people, the accidental death of an retired forest officer and former observer in Vyapam tests in Madhya Pradesh last week has renewed many questions.
Indian Forest Service officer Vijay Bahadur Singh’s body was found on a railway track near Odisha’s Belpahad station on Thursday. He was travelling by Puri-Jodhpur Express train.
“The Puri-Jodhpur Express by which Vijay was travelling had been halted for a minute at a place which is 200 metres from Belpahad station and does not fall among stoppages of the train on the route,” RTI activist Ajay Dubey told IANS.
“The train was halted at 12.44 a.m. to make way for a goods train,” Dubey said, adding “when a goods train is coming on the other line, the trains are slowed down but never halted. Thus, the incident of halting the train for a minute does give credence to suspicion, as anything can happen within that time”.
Vyapam whistleblower Anand Roy told IANS: “The death of Vijay Bahadur is mysterious as no person could fall off from a moving train.”
“How could a door of an air conditioned coach open? There must have been other passengers and the attendent. How come they did not know that a man from the same compartment has fallen off? Why was the train halted at Belpahad after he fell off while his body was recovered from a place which is well before the station?” asked an expert related to crime investigation while requesting anonymity.
“Vijay Bahadur Singh was an observer in 12 tests. An FIR has been filed in two of those tests by the Special Task Force (STF). It was possible that he could be questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation,” the expert added.
It may be noted 48 people linked to Vyapam have died, some mysteriously. Following this chain of deaths, the Supreme Court on July 9, 2015, directed the CBI to investigate not only the Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal (Vyapam), or the Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, but also the deaths related to it.
The STF has filed a total of 55 cases in the Vyapam scam. Though 2,100 have been arrested, a total of 491 accused are still missing.
(Sandeep Pauranik can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)