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NRHM scam: Accountant was murdered at seniors’ behest

| PRAMOD KUMAR
Published : Aug 8, 2016, 6:41 am IST
Updated : Aug 8, 2016, 6:41 am IST

In a startling revelation in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in UP, the CBI has for the first time concluded that 55-year-old Mahendra Kumar Sharma, posted at a Community Hea

In a startling revelation in the multi-crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in UP, the CBI has for the first time concluded that 55-year-old Mahendra Kumar Sharma, posted at a Community Health Centre (CHC) in Lakhimpuri Kheri district, was allegedly murdered in 2012 at the behest of senior district health officials. This could again heat up the political temperature in the poll-bound state, as it pertains to the regime of BSP supremo Mayawati. The total tally of deaths in this scam was five, which included Sharma. As the news of the mysterious death of Sharma spread in 2012, the Congress and the BJP had slammed the Mayawati gover-nment, accusing it of colluding in the ‘’massive bungling’’.

India’s premier investigating agency CBI has recommended initiation of trials against the then chief medical officer of Lakhim-pur Kheri J.P. Bhargava, former superintendent of CHC, Pasgwan village, S.P. Gupta, and four others under relevant sections of the IPC for allegedly hatching the conspiracy to eliminate Sharma. According to the CBI findings, ante-mortem smothering has been stated as the cause of death. Six injuries were also detected on his body. CBI’s final report was submitted on July 31 last month. The multi-crore NRHM scam cases had come to light after two CMOs — Dr V.K. Arya and Dr B.P. Singh — were shot in Lucknow within a period of six months in 2011. Besides, deputy CMO Y.S. Sachan, who was an accused in both the murder case and NRHM irregularities in the Lucknow CMO office, was found dead in Lucknow jail in June 2011.

The sequence of events, as established in the CBI findings, says that the scam-related activities of the accused with respect to the NRHM scam took place during Sharma’s absence in November 2011. Sharma had taken formal leave from November 11 to November 26, 2011. When he returned, he found that he was shown as absent and the lock of the almirah that had records and other things were broken.

Sharma complained about this to the then CMO Dr Bhargava. Sources said that instead of taking action, Dr Bhargava asked him to hand over the charge to one Rajesh Hans and join at another place — Bijuwa in Lakhimpuri Kheri.

On this, according to sources, Sharma asked the CMO to transfer him in writing. “On Feb 7, 2012, Sharma went to Pasgawan from his house. Thereafter, he did not return for many days. Many months later, in the evening of December 15, 2012, his wife came to know that her husband’s body was lying at CHC, Pasgawan,” sources said. Sources refused to divulge further details about how he was killed and what triggered, while holding that the CBI’s finding report has been submitted before the competent court.

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