File photo of Narendra Singh Tomar (left), an accused in the high-profile MPPEB (Vyapam) scam, who died under mysterious circumstances in an Indore jail and Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur. (Photo: PTI/DC)
New Delhi: In a shocker, Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Babulal Gaur on Monday said that deaths of people in Madhya Pradesh are 'natural' and not linked to the Vyapam scam.
"There is no foul play by the Madhya Pradesh Government. Deaths of people linked with the Vyapam scam are natural," he said.
Talking to a TV channel, he also said that there was no need for a CBI probe in the case.
The statement comes just a day after Narendra Singh Tomar, an accused in the high-profile MPPEB scam, died under mysterious circumstances in an Indore jail. The death has added another murky chapter to the scandal in which 24 accused and witnesses have died so far.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said that the SIT set up in the case could no longer be trusted.
"We have lost faith in the SIT set up by the High Court. We have no other option, but to go to the Supreme Court," he said.
29-year-old Tomar, a veterinarian, complained of chest pain last night and was rushed to Maharaja Yashwant Rao Hospital where he was declared brought dead, official sources said on Sunday.
He was an accused in the Pre-Medical Test conducted by MPPEB in 2009. Tomar was said to have arranged for imposters who had written the papers in place of genuine aspirants.
Tomar's is the 24 death of those named as accused or witnesses in connection with a plethora of criminal cases registered in connection with the scam.
The Special Investigating Team (SIT) probing the scandal had recently submitted a list of 23 deceased to the Madhya Pradesh High Court. Some reports have claimed 40 such deaths.
The most high-profile death was that of Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.
Shailesh, 50, was found dead at his father's residence in Mall Avenue area of Uttar Pradesh capital Lucknow on March 25 this year.
Vyapam scam is a massive admission and recruitment scandal involving politicians, bureaucrats and middlemen. Several politicians including former education minister Laxmikant Sharma, a host of officials and scores of aspirants have been arrested in the case.
Congress has even accused Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan of complicity in the scam.