The “Vyapam cheating scandal”, an infamous series of large-scale cheating cases involving high officials and a number of citizens, has come back to light recently in India as 40 among more than 2000 suspects died abnormally in succession.
On June 28th this year, Rajendra Alja, a 40-year-old physician died suddenly in Central Hospital of Madhya Pradesh. He was suspected to aid two of his students to pass the entrance examination of medical sciences in 2007 and 2008. Narendra Singh Tomar, a 29-year-old veterinarian assistant was found dead in the cell on the same day. He was accused of helping exchanging exam papers in the medical test in 2009. In less than a week’s time, a reporter who was investigating the scandal died when he was talking with a father whose daughter was involved in the scandal and had died unaccountably in 2012.
As the series of deaths were exposed to the public, more and more people demanded the state government for further explanation, which forced Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh to abandon his insistence on bringing the case to “trail in the state” and handed it over to the Supreme Court of India. The spokesperson of Indian Congress held the view that “the chief minister is the key figure of the scandal and should be questioned. Before that he must submit his resignation and receive independent investigation.”
Back in August 2013, the state government has form a special investigation team because of the scandal. The team leader Chandresh Bhushan said recently: “I don’t want to use the word ‘weird’. If their deaths have something to do with the scandal, I’ll call it abnormal death.”
“Abnormal death” includes murder, suicide, accident and death of no reasons. The abnormal death rate of this case is higher than 7.4‰, the average rate of abnormal death cases in India. Times of India quoted a social activist: “10 cases among all the deaths were highly suspected to be murder. The rest may be coincidence.”
Vyapam is the civil servant exam in Madhya Pradesh. The exam has been entwined with scandals since mid-1990s. In view of the series of cheating cases exposed by the media after 2009, a majority of people who were involved in the cases were powerful officials, including the former Minister of Education, who were arrested for the cases.
Six years have passed since the beginning of the investigation. The cases haven’t been concluded. On the contrary, more and more questions are coming to light. The public is not only unsatisfied with the government, but also growing distrust of civil servants, doctors and other public officers. People are appealing to the central government for restoring the image of the government by launching a thorough investigation into the cases.