In the fourth death of an accused in Uttar Pradeshs NRHM scam,an assistant engineer with the Construction and Design Services of the state Jal Nigam was found shot in the head at his Lucknow house today morning.
In a suicide note,Sunil Kumar Verma said he was upset since the CBI,which is investigating the multi-crore fraud in National Rural Health Mission funds,searched his residence on January 4. He wrote that he hadnt done anything wrong and nobody in his family or department should be held responsible for his action.
The note was found lying on the drawing room sofa where Verma reportedly shot himself with his licensed revolver. His wife Saroj was in the kitchen at the time. Vermas son Vishal,who lives on the first floor with his wife and children,said his father had been undergoing treatment for depression for the past two weeks.
The CBI has sought report from the Lucknow police on the matter.
Vermas colleagues,who were present at the hospital where his body was taken,refused to talk about the matter. Chief Minister Mayawatis secretary Navneet Sahgal is Chairman of the UP Jal Nigam.
Posted as Project Manager (Technical) in the C&DS office at Gomti Nagar,Verma was an accused in a case of irregularities in the maintenance of 134 hospitals across the state. The case was registered by the CBI in Delhi on January 2.
His co-accused include former family welfare minister Babu Singh Kushwaha,Director of C&DS P K Bhukesh,Chief General Manager Bharat Singh,General Manager P K Jain and project managers B M Srivastava and Katar Singh.
Houses of all of them have been searched and all have been questioned,but only Jain has been arrested.
CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said Verma,who was promoted to his current post two months ago,was questioned during the preliminary inquiry,but not after the case was lodged against him.
CBI sources said Verma was not present in his house at the time of the search when they found some files related to the NRHM. Documents related to the case were also seized from his office the same day.
The agency has reportedly found that Verma was one of the officials involved in taking decisions for procurement of building material,furniture,electrical and electronic goods for 134 hospitals for a contract,worth Rs 13.4 crore,awarded by the State Health Society.
The Jal Nigam sourced the supplies from Ghaziabad-based firm Surgicon Medi Equip Pvt Ltd and Lucknow-based Modern Interiors and Ankur Goods & Parcels. The firms did not fulfill the criteria,and had submitted bogus documents to show that they were eligible,sources said.
Further,the materials supplied to the hospitals were found substandard and the irregularities caused a loss of about Rs 5.46 crore to the exchequer,said sources.
Verma leaves behind his wife and two sons. While Vishal runs a business,son Amit works with TCS in Mumbai.