The Telegraph
Thursday , July 9 , 2015

Truth dare to Chouhan

New Delhi, July 8: The Congress today dared Shivraj Singh Chouhan to request a CBI probe monitored by the Supreme Court if he really wanted the truth to be out in the Vyapam scam.

"Will he let the Madhya Pradesh counsel tell the Supreme Court tomorrow that the state government too favours a CBI probe monitored by the apex court?" Congress spokesperson R.P.N. Singh asked.

A batch of petitions seeking a court-monitored CBI probe is expected to be heard tomorrow.

A CBI probe will be meaningless unless the Supreme Court monitors it, the Congress spokesperson said. "The track record of the Narendra Modi government in detrimentally influencing investigations and making agencies toothless, subservient puppets, is evident in the way the NIA has been functioning."

The Congress demanded two separate CBI investigations - one for the recruitment scandal and another for the "49 mysterious deaths" linked to it. The official figure for the deaths is 26.

"India has never had any scandal which consumed so many lives. These deaths would not have occurred had the chief minister opted for a fair probe in the beginning. A separate probe by the CBI (into the deaths), also monitored by the Supreme Court, is a must," Singh said.

The Madhya Pradesh government yesterday requested the high court to allow a CBI probe into Vyapam.

But the Congress, which pointed out that Chouhan had stalled the probe so far, said his "duplicity" was exposed in the praise for the investigation done by the special task force in the same letter that recommended the CBI probe.

Evidence showed that STF had done a "pathetic" job and created situations in which so many people lost their lives, Singh said. The Congress spokesperson also released a post-mortem report of one of the victims, MBBS student Namrata Damor, which describes the cause of death as "violent asphyxia". The death in 2012 had earlier been passed off as a suicide.

Alleging that the STF was lying under the chief minister's patronage, Singh said: "Another victim, Dr Sakalle, was burnt to death a year ago and the STF has not even recorded the statement of any witness so far. Chouhan still says he was satisfied with the STF investigation."

The Congress demanded the immediate resignation of Chouhan. "A former Haryana chief minister is in jail for a very minor recruitment scam, compared to the huge scandal that Vyapam is. In Bihar, Lalu Prasad went to jail in the fodder scam. The BJP applied a different yardstick in these cases....

"Facts available in the public domain and the pattern of incidents in the Vyapam inquiry... point towards the only inescapable conclusion that the continuation of Chouhan even for a single day goes against the interest of fair investigation and justice," the party spokesperson said.

"There are scams everywhere ... Lalitgate, rice scam, Vyapam but we don't hear a word from Modi. Probably he is in a yoga asana that requires a long silence."


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