NRHM scam: FIR against 6 in official`s death

An FIR was registered against six health officials after a missing health department accountant was found dead under mysterious circumstances.

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP): An FIR was on Friday
registered against six health officials, including the chief
medical officer and his deputy, after a missing health
department accountant was found dead under mysterious
circumstances, even as his wife demanded a CBI probe in it.

An FIR under sections 302 (murder) and 120 b (criminal
conspiracy) has been lodged with the city police against six
health officials, Additional Superintendent of Police Rajiv
Malhotra said.

They are Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr JP Bhargava,
Deputy CMO Balbir Singh, Pasgawan Community Health Centre
(CHC) incharge Dr SC Gupta and Pasgwan CHC clerks Rajesh
Hans, Kuldeep and Munna Lal, he said.

UP police had found the body of 52-year-old Mahendra
Sharma lying in a pool of blood with severe injuries on his
head and face from the Pasgawan health centre area in
Lakhimpur Kheri district on February 15.

Sharma, who had been reported missing since February 7, is
the fifth person connected with the NRHM scam to have been
found dead in the last one year after the alleged bungling of
over Rs 10,000 crore of central funds surfaced.

Ante-mortem smothering has been stated to be the cause of
the death in the autopsy report. Six injury marks were also
found on his body.

The post-mortem was conducted by a panel of three doctors
and the entire process was videographed, Malhotra said.

The FIR was lodged after the victim`s wife Mithilesh
lodged her complaint with the police. She also demanded a CBI
probe in the matter.

In her complaint, she alleged that her husband was
murdered and suspected five health department officials
including Pasgawan community health centre incharge.

Sharma`s wife alleged that when her husband resumed his
duties at Pasgawan CHC after leave from November 2 to November
26, 2011, he found his official almirah broken and documents
and files missing.

She said her husband reported this to the CMO, who asked
him to join at Bijua after handing over his charge to clerk
Rajesh Hans.

"My husband asked for written order for the transfer," she
said, adding her husband reported that the missing documents
and cheques were related with NRHM programme, which was under
investigations by CBI.

Mithilesh said her husband had given a letter in this
connection to the CMO on January 30.

She alleged that on January 6, Pasgawan PHC incharge SC
Gupta along with clerk Rajesh Hans and two employees union
office-bearers visited her house and asked her husband to work
at PHC Pasgawan where his signatures on some important
documents were required.

Thereafter, her husband went to Pasgawan on February 7 but
went missing and was found dead on February 15.

Additional Director, health, Dr SA Rizvi, who arrived
here described Sharma`s death as homicide as was indicated in
the postmortem report and it was a matter of police

Dr Rizvi ruled out any link between Sharma`s death and the
NRHM probe stating that neither CBI nor CAG had asked for any
inquiry from the slain accountant. As such the death was not
linked with NRHM probe at all, he said.

Denying his rule in Sharma`s death, CMO JP Bhargava told
PTI that he was facing disciplinary action in the form of his
transfer on October 24, 2011 on administrative grounds as
Pasgawan CHC Gopal Singh had lodged a complaint against him.

"The transfer order from Pasgawan to Bijua CHC was issued
following the recommendation and inquiry of deputy CMO Balbir
Singh," Bhargava said, adding that when Sharma failed to
report at Bijua and work was disturbed, his transfer order was
modified for Patrasi CHC.

"Sharma was ordered to hand over his charge to his
successor Rajesh Hans in Pasgawan which he did not comply
following which a team was formed to unlock his almirah and
hand over the charge to Rajesh Hans to carry out routine
works," he said.

Sharma had tendered a written assurance to complete the
documents and hand over the charge by February 6.