Bhopal/New Delhi: Even as a police trainee recruited through Vyapam was found dead, the third death in three days, the central government on Monday rejected calls for a CBI probe into the scam to have hit the Madhya Pradesh government, saying that only courts could take a decision on the matter.
The BJP rallied behind MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan saying the state government need not order it after the apex court rejected the plea of Congress leader Digvijay Singh in this regard.
"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, as per PTI.
He arrived in Jhabua to pay tribute to the late BJP MP Dileep Singh Bhuria at his ancestral village Macchlia.
Trainee sub-inspector found dead
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 CM 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," he said.
Opposition takes on BJP, seeks Chouhan's resignation
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.
Former Union Home Minister P Chidambaram insisted that Madhya Pradesh government recommend a CBI investigation before the "next unnatural death", stressing the "buck stops with the Executive".
Congress spokesperson PC Chacko said the "Chief Minister cannot be spared and should take responsibility" along with the Prime Minister.
"Prime Minister should explain and take moral responsibility for what is happening in the country," he said addressing reporters at the Congress headquarters.
Congress has claimed upto 45 people related to the massive admission and recruitment scam have died unnatural deaths and said Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan cannot escape responsibility for it.
On the other hand, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was said to be warming up to the Prime Minister, "condemned" the deaths and said her party TMC will raise the issue in Parliament.
"It is not merely a law and order issue. It is something bigger than that. So many killings have taken place. Many people are involved. It is cold-blooded murders," Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress chief, said in Kolkata.
"The Trinamool Congress will raise its voice against Vyapam scam in Parliament. I strongly condemn the incident. It should be investigated under the monitoring of the Supreme Court," she said.
And the CPI(M) accused the Centre of "encouraging" crime and corruption and took potshots at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying the "normally outspoken" leader had not uttered a single word on the "sordid" Vyapam affair.
"Worst thing is, the normally outspoken PM (is keeping quiet). If nothing else, his tweets are famous or infamous because it's one-way traffic of communication.
"But there is not a single word on this entire sordid affair. Not one tweet, not one communication. So, nobody knows what the PM is thinking," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said.
Meanwhile, AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the Prime Minister's silence over the mysterious deaths.
"People want Prime Minister to speak and intervene in Vyapam. PM should no more remain silent. Vyapam scam and all deaths so far ought to be thoroughly investigated. Guilty must be punished. Something MUST be done to prevent more deaths," Kejriwal tweeted.
(With PTI inputs)