An overrated scam: Vyapam Scam

The Vyapam scam has become one the biggest scams for not only the Madhya Pradesh government and Chief Minister (CM) Shivraj Chouhan but also the ruling BJP party. This scam which involves deaths of more than 40 individuals who were in one way or the other associated with the scam. This scam has however caught the attention of the news media which has been covering the issue in depth. The Supreme Court has already ordered a CBI probe into the Vyapam scam.

The scam which involves the manipulation in the selection for government jobs conducted by the Madhya Pradesh Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal (Vyapam) which conducts tests for professional courses and recruitment to various posts. The scam came to prominence on news media with the death of journalist Akshay Singh of Aaj Tak on July 4. The journalist who was investigating the scam and the deaths associated with the scam mysteriously passed away after interviewing the parents of Namrata Damor who had been linked to the case and whose body had been found under mysterious circumstances near the railway tracks in Ujjain district.

Initially the Vyapam scam had come to light in 2013 where there were reports of bribes being paid by those seeking admission into medical colleges. The case involved politicians, bureaucrats and others who took kickbacks in order for allowing proxy candidates to take the admission test. After the scam erupted in August 2013 a special task force of the Madhya Pradesh police was put in place to investigate the matter.

Consequently, many of the 40 deaths took place. There are over 2,000 people arrested in connection to the scam till now. This includes former education minister Laxmikant Sharma and many other politicians, several officials, bureaucrats, middlemen, students and parents. The final straw which brought the case serious media attention was the death of Aaj Tak journalist Akshay Singh who died investigating the scam.