The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Uttar Pradesh's former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr AK Shukla in Lucknow on Sunday night in connection with the murder case of CMO Dr Vinod Arya.
Dr Shukla, who was in the Uttar Pradesh government's Family Welfare department, was the alleged conspirator in the killing of Dr Arya, according to the CBI. Dr Shukla was arrested in July 2011 in connection with alleged financial irregularities in the state health department but was later released on bail.
The CBI says the motive behind the murder was fear of being exposed for corruption. Dr Shukla allegedly feared that the victim was trying to expose him for corruption and irregularities that allegedly took place under the National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) scheme in Uttar Pradesh. The CBI says that there is enough evidence against Dr Shukla in the case.
Dr Arya was gunned down on the October 27, 2010 while he was on a morning walk. Six months later, the man who replaced him, Dr BP Singh, was murdered. In June 2011, a man who had worked for them and had been arrested for their deaths, Yogendra Singh Sachan, was found dead at a Lucknow jail.
Babu Singh Kushwaha, the minister handling the health department during the period the NRHM scam came to light and the CMOs were murdered, was forced to resign in April 2011.
The Uttar Pradesh health department had access to Rs 3,500 crores a year to provide better medical services for villages under the NRHM scheme, which is being implemented by 72 CMOs and nodal officers from other state government departments. It is alleged that much of the money for the scheme was squandered by bureaucrats and other officers who handed inflated contracts to suppliers of medicines and equipment. This is being probed separately by the CBI.