Bhopal: Allegations of a massive cover-up in the Vyapam scam are now pivoted on a 19-year-old medical student whose death three years ago was dismissed as a suicide by the police even though the autopsy report said she was strangled.
"She was murdered. There is not even one percent chance of a natural death," said BB Purohit, a doctor in the team that performed the autopsy on Namrata Damor, whose death has been brought back into focus after a TV journalist died last weekend minutes after interviewing her father.
Namrata was found dead on railway tracks in Ujjain in January, 2012. When the police filed a closure report in 2014, they called it a suicide, contradicting the autopsy report that said that Namrata died because of "violent asphyxia as a result of smothering" and that the findings suggested "homicidal" death.
"We three doctors conducted the post mortem...we have over 25 years of experience. There were bruises on the nose and mouth of the woman which indicated she was strangled. Also bruises on her body suggested she was dragged on the tracks after her death," Dr Purohit told NDTV.
Senior police officer Manohar Varma said: "We investigated her death and recreated the crime scene with forensic experts. We found nothing that suggested murder. If there is new evidence we can investigate again but so far there is nothing."
Namrata, a second year medical student, allegedly secured admission illegally. In the multi-crore scandal involving politicians and bureaucrats, lakhs of candidates allegedly paid bribes in return for jobs on the state payroll or for places in educational institutes.
Journalist Akshay Singh was speaking to Namrata's father at her home in Jhabua on Saturday when he started frothing at the mouth and collapsed. Doctors said he had died of a heart attack, but after protests by Mr Singh's family, Delhi's AIIMS hospital is investigating how he died.
There have been 35 deaths linked to the scam since 2012; the causes range from road accidents to suicides, alcohol poisoning and heart attacks.