Lakhimpur Kheri/New Delhi: The NRHM scam in
Uttar Pradesh has turned murkier with another health official
found dead under mysterious circumstances, the fifth victim in
the last one year after the alleged bungling of over Rs.10,000
crore of central funds surfaced.
UP police found the body of Mahendra Sharma, an
accountant, lying in a pool of blood with severe injuries on
his head and face, from the Pasgawan health centre area in
Lakhimpur Kheri district last evening.
52-year-old Sharma has been reported missing since
February 7, police said.
The CBI, which is probing the scam, has asked the state
police to beef up security of witnesses and suspects.
In 2010-11, two senior doctors associated with the health
department were murdered within months of each other. Another
official was found dead in a Lucknow jail. In January, a UP
Jal Nigam officer allegedly committed suicide because he was
being investigated in connection with the scam.
As the news of Sharma`s death spread, Congress and BJP
slammed the Mayawati government, accusing it of actively
colluding in the "massive bungling".
Congress star campaigner Priyanka Gandhi accused the
Mayawati government of misuse of funds meant for improvement
of health facilities in the state.
BJP spokesperson Ravishankar Prasad said, "the larger
issue is the liability of Mayawati herself as the chief
minister and the earlier regime of Mulayam Singh Yadav because
the entire scam was spread over last about 7-8 years."
Family members of the accountant have accused health
department officials of harassment.
Mithilesh Sharma, the wife of the deceased, said that
frequent transfers of her husband had depressed him. She also
accused health officials of withholding his salary.
Mithilesh alleged that after solemnising their daughter`s
marriage on November 21 last, when Sharma reported for duty in
Pasgawan, he was told about his another transfer.
Meanhwile, the CBI in New Delhi denied having questioned
Sharma in connection with the probe.
"CBI has neither questioned nor summoned this person. CBI
is in close touch with local police regarding safety concerns
of potential witnesses, suspects, etc," a CBI spokesperson