Singrauli police is investigating the disappearance of a sub-engineer, Puranlal Verma (58), whose son’s death in 2010 is being probed by the CBI in connection with the Vyapam scam. Verma, as sub-engineer (rural engineering service), was tasked with evaluation of construction work in 10 gram panchayats under the Waidhan Janpad Panchayat. On June 22, he left his home in Waidhan, the district headquarters of Singrauli district, telling his wife Kailashi (54) that he would return after having a cold drink.
For nearly three months, there had been no trace of him. Soon after Verma went missing, his wife approached the police, who registered a kidnapping case but named no suspects. While stating that he had left his mobile phone at home, Kailashi told the police that three persons had come to meet him that day.
Kotwali police station in-charge A P Goswami said police tried tracing him at several places, including Jhansi where Verma’s married daughter lives, but drew a blank. He added that his wife did not name anyone as suspect.
“Since our son’s death he was very disturbed and grew a beard and kept long hair. In the last few years he would occasionally talk about going to Assam or the Himalayas, saying he was fed up with life,” Kailashi told The Indian Express over phone.
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Deepak, 24, a student of the government medical college in Indore, died in a road mishap in 2010, three years before the Vyapam case came to light in Indore. The couple had later demanded a probe into his death. “He was a bright student and not involved in any irregularity,” Kailashi said. Talking about her husband, she said he had developed a short temper and would often pick fights with sarpanches. One sarpanch had filed a police case against him, but they struck a compromise, she said.
“He is very moody. I am sure he is safe, somewhere. No one has made a ransom call. His body has not been found,” she said, adding that till three years ago he was attached with irrigation work and appeared to be satisfied. “It was only after he was asked to evaluate construction work that he started quarreling with sarpanches. I would often ask him to avoid tussle but he did not listen,” she added.
Indore-based whistleblower Anand Rai said that if the CBI took some interest in the alleged kidnapping case, it might unearth something.