A RETIRED chief medical officer (CMO) who was allegedly facing a CBI probe in connection with the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam case, was found dead at his Gorakhpur home on Wednesday afternoon.
Station House Officer (SHO) of Gorakhnath police station, Yadvendra Bahadur, said, “Dr Pawan Srivastava, who retired from the post of CMO in 2014, shot himself with his licensed revolver in his room. His son Pankaj, daughter-in-law Ekta and their children were in another room in the house when the incident took place.”
“On hearing the gunshot, they rushed to Srivastava’s room to find his body lying on the floor in a pool of blood. They rushed him to a nearby hospital where he was declared brought dead. There was a bullet wound on his right temple. Pankaj told police that his father was not well and had been suffering from depression for the last few months,” he added.
No suicide note has been found, police said. Circle Officer, Gorakhnath area, Praveen Kumar Singh, said, “Pankaj has informed us that his father was facing an inquiry in the NRHM scam case, which is being investigated by CBI. We are yet to verify the information.” He added that Srivastava had once served as CMO of Kushinagar district.
When contacted, CBI spokesperson RK Gaur said, “We have to check if anyone by the name Pawan Srivastava is facing a probe in the NRHM scam.”
The NRHM was launched by the first UPA government on April 12, 2005, to provide accessible, affordable and quality healthcare to the rural population, especially to vulnerable groups in rural areas. Over Rs 8,000 crore was disbursed to the Uttar Pradesh government, then headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party (SP). In 2007, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), led by Mayawati, ousted the SP in Assembly elections and took the reins of power. That was when, the CBI alleges, irregularities in the implementation of various schemes under the Mission began to occur. There are allegations of over Rs 5,000 crore, disbursed to 72 CMOs in the state, having been siphoned off.