Vyapam scam: Madhya Pradesh's tarnish in 2015

Bhopal: The Vyapam scam remained a hot-button issue in Madhya Pradesh during 2015, giving a tough time to Shivraj Singh Chouhan government and even resulting in the washout of the state assembly's budget session besides overshadowing the Monsoon session of Parliament.

Among other major incidents was the tragic death of 89 people and injuries to nearly 100 when mining explosives stored in a building at a public place went off in Petlawad town in Jhabua district on September 12. The impact of the blasts was so immense that body parts of victims flew off to 100-200 metre.

But the one issue that remained in the news throughout the year was the Vyapam scam. It became a national issue with Opposition parties gunning for Chouhan, seeking his removal. The issue got murkier by the day with a number people related to the scam found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who created a record by becoming the first non-Congress Chief Minister in Madhya Pradesh to complete 10 years in office on November 29, a feat earlier held by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh, found himself in the dock over the massive admission and recruitment irregularities in the MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB), popularly known by its Hindi acronym 'Vyapam' or Vyavsayik Pariksha Mandal.

Earlier averse to handing over the investigation into the scam to the CBI saying that the MP Special Task Force (STF) was doing a good job, Chouhan had to give in to public outcry and Opposition's frequent barbs as he requested the Supreme Court to hand over the probe to the central agency.

The year started on a bad note for Chouhan with AAP staging protests demanding that he should vacate one of the two official bungalows he was occupying in the state capital.

Days later, the Vyapam scam took a bloody turn when the body of Ramendra Singh Bhadoria, a student of government Garja Raja Medical College, Gwalior (GRMCG) and an accused, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his home at Khanchmil Mohalla on January 8.

His face was found covered with a pillow and his neck stifled with TV cable wire. Shaken by his death, Bhadoria's mother Kusma Devi ended her life too, five days later.

On January 17, another student of GRMCG and accused in Vyapam scam, was found dead under a bridge under mysterious condition in Morena district.

Congress was quick to target Chouhan with its leaders Digvijay Singh, Kamal Nath and Jyotiraditya Scindia addressing a press conference here and alleging that the evidence on which the STF was investigating the recruitment racket had been tampered with. They also demanded resignation of Chouhan.

The Congress leaders demanded that the investigation be handed over to the CBI for a fair probe.



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