Vyapam observer death: Batchmate says ex-IFS officer didn’t seem stressed at reunionhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/vyapam-observer-death-batchmate-says-ex-ifs-officer-didnt-seem-stressed-at-reunion/

Vyapam observer death: Batchmate says ex-IFS officer didn’t seem stressed at reunion

Case of unnatural death registered; RTI activist, Digvijaya call for CBI probe

Retired Indian Forest Service officer Vijay Bahadur, who acted as an observer in two Vyapam recruitment tests in Madhya Pradesh and whose body was found on a railway track in Jharsuguda district on late Thursday night, did not show any signs of stress or anxiety during his meeting with batchmates in Puri earlier this week.

Bahadur, a 1978-batch officer, was found dead near Belpahar station. Rourkela Railway SP K S Kawar said his body was spotted by the driver of another train. “Prima facie it seems he had fallen down accidentally. We have lodged a case of unnatural death and handed over his body to his family after the post-mortem examination. We would be able to say anything concrete only once the report comes,” said the SP.

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Nita Singh reported about her husband going missing to the ticket checker (TTE) of the train after reaching Raigarh station, about 70 km from Jharsuguda station. She did not respond to phone calls.

Bahadur’s batchmate and principal chief conservator of forest (PCCF) J D Sharma told The Sunday Express that the deceased did not show any signs of anxiety or stress during the reunion meeting early this week. “As far as I know, he suffered from hypertension and diabetes. He was a jovial person,” said Sharma.

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Bahadur, who retired as additional PCCF in Madhya Pradesh forest department in 2010, was a central observer for Grade 3 contractual teachers in 2011 and food inspectors in 2012. The central observers were appointed by Vyapam chairperson to monitor conduct of various examinations. There were 40 central observers during the alleged Vyapam scam between 2010 and 2013.

Bhopal-based RTI activist Ajay Dubey, who had earlier this year filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking inclusion of 40 central observers in the ambit of the CBI probe, said Bahadur’s death indicated that the spiral of unnatural deaths in the scam has not ended.

“We hope the SC would take a quick decision on this,” he said.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh demanded a CBI probe into the death.

The CBI has so far registered over 80 FIRs in the Vyapam scam. The total number of deaths have touched 40.