NRHM scam: 6 officials booked in accountant's murder

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

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NRHM scam: 6 officials booked in accountant's murder


Mayawati faced the heat on the multi-crore NRHM scam today even as six health officials including the chief medical officer were booked on charges of criminal conspiracy and murder of an accountant in connection with the corruption case.

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

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

UP police had found the body of the 52-year-old accountant, 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.

Training its guns on Mayawati, BJP said the probe underway was a "farce" and an attempt to shield the real culprits.

All the evidence relating to the scam are being obliterated, BJP vice president Mukhtar Abba Naqvi said in Rampur.

He alleged that the ruling BSP was getting tacit support from the Congress as a "part of a hidden political deal".

The FIR was lodged after the victim's wife Mithilesh approached 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.

In Lucknow, ADG law and order, Subesh Kumar Singh said the report of forensic experts was awaited. He said the room where Sharma's body was found was closed from inside and his body was seen from a broken ventilator.

The entire process of retrieving the body and other legality was conducted in front of the family and videographed, he said.

According to the post mortem report, the cause of death is asphyxia, anti-mortem smothering, the ADG said adding that cremation was performed last night.

The body was in a semi decomposed state and the family did not want to wait any further, he said adding that it (body) had been found around 72 hours after death.

To a question, Singh said that according to the CBI the deceased had neither been called for questioning nor was he required for this purpose.

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 S C Gupta along with 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 S A Rizvi, who arrived here described Sharma's death as homicide as was indicated in the postmortem report and it was a matter of police investigation.

Denying his role in Sharma's death, 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.

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