Vyapam scam: Centre rules out CBI probe; sack CM, demands Cong

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New Delhi, July 7: A CBI probe into the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh was ruled out by the Centre as troubles mounted for Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan after a woman trainee sub-inspector recruited by the state board was found dead in a lake.

Congress demanded the sacking of Chauhan following the spate of mysterious deaths connected to the admission and recruitment scam in the last two years that has rocked the BJP -ruled state even as the Chief Minister said it is "not fair" to link all such "unfortunate incidents" with the scandal.

The BJP rallied behind Chauhan in the face of strident demands by the Congress for a CBI probe, saying the state government need not order it after the apex court rejected the plea of Congress leader Digvijay Singh in this regard.

In a related development, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition seeking removal of MP Governor Ram Naresh Yadav over his alleged involvement in the scandal.

"SIT probe into the scam is on, and the government cannot direct the High Court or the Supreme Court on the issue,""Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters in Jhabua in MP.

Asked why the state government was avoiding a CBI probe, Singh said the High Court and the apex court had already rejected a PIL in this regard. "There is no point in handing over the ongoing probe to CBI at this juncture," he said.

"If the Supreme Court or the High Court feels that the probe is not perfect to the extent it should be, then it will give directions and the government will immediately accept it and hand over the matter to the CBI," he added.

Whistleblower Ashish Chaturvedi (26) claimed that there was a grave threat to his life and accused Chouhan of being "directly involved" in the scam, a charge rubbished by the CM.

Adding to the string of deaths since the past two days, the body of trainee sub-inspector Anamika Sikarwar (25) was found in a lake adjacent to the Police Training Academy at Sagar district headquarters in the state.

It came after the unexplained death of journalist Akshay Singh who was covering Vyapam scam in Jhabua while Jabalpur Medical College Dean Arun Sharma, probing fake examinees, was found dead under mysterious circumstances in a hotel at Dwarka in south-west Delhi yesterday.

Sagar City Superintendent of Police Gautam Solanki said they suspect Anamika's death to be a case of suicide, a claim promptly dismissed by the Congress.

She was selected as a sub-inspector in an exam conducted by Vyapam but police said that her selection has nothing to do with Vyapam scam and she was not a suspected beneficiary.

The Chief Minister quickly denied that the incident was linked to the Vyapam probe.

"It is sad and unfortunate incident. But with all responsibility I say that there is no connection of that unfortunate incident with Vyapam or its probe. And it is not fair to link all such unfortunate incidents with Vyapam." 

Congress, which has sought a Supreme Court-monitored CBI probe, stepped up its attack on Chouhan, demanding that he be sacked to allow an impartial investigation and said that he cannot escape responsibility for "45 deaths" of people having some connection with the issue.

"Shivraj Singh Chouhan should be sacked and an impartial probe should be done in the Vyapam scam," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said in New Delhi.

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