Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav’s son Shailesh Yadav, wanted by the Madhya Pradesh Special Task Force in connection with the Vyapam scam, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at the governor’s residence at Mall Avenue area in Lucknow on Wednesday morning. The staff and domestic help at the bungalow allotted to the Ram Naresh, who was former UP chief minister, claimed that Shailesh had died on Tuesday night itself.
The family members, however, informed police around 2 pm on Wednesday, Gautam Palli police station in charge S K Katiyar said. Shailesh’s wife, his youngest son and the wives of his two brothers were present in the bungalow when he died.
Family members claimed Shailesh was diabetic and died of brain haemorrhage, but they did not share the exact time of his death, maintaining that they came to know about it around 6 am when he did not get up. A domestic help, however, told The Indian Express that Shailesh’s condition deteriorated on Tuesday night and a doctor, called for a check-up, declared him dead.
Both the governor and his son were accused in the scam that was exposed nearly two years ago. The investigating agency was reportedly preparing grounds to attach the properties owned by Shailesh. Veerpal Singh, an accused in the scam arrested in November 2014, had alleged that Rs 3 lakh in cash was given to Shailesh in the Raj Bhavan to ensure that 10 candidates from Bhind cleared the examination for contractual teachers. None of the 10 candidates were eventually appointed because they did not hold either a diploma or a degree in education.
Shailesh used to regularly visit Raj Bhavan ever since his father was made the governor in September 2011. Veerpal, who hails from UP’s Mainpuri district, had alleged that his friend Vijaypal was close to Shailesh and had given him names and roll numbers of the 10 candidates more than two-and-a-half years ago. Since the candidates were not selected, a part of the money was returned, Veerpal claimed.
Ram Naresh’s former officer on special duty (OSD) Dhanraj Yadav was arrested in 2013 by the STF in connection with the scam. The governor had immediately sacked Dhanraj, claiming that he was not aware of his alleged involvement in the scam.
On Wednesday, police and mediapersons were not allowed to enter the Lucknow bungalow as family members claimed there were only women inside the house and they were waiting for Shailesh’s brothers to return. Both brothers, Kamlesh and Ajai, were with Ram Naresh in Bhopal at the time of the incident.
Shailesh had not been questioned so far and the notices to his addresses in Uttar Pradesh were not served on him because the investigating agency claimed he could not be found there. However, a domestic help said Shailesh had been living in the bungalow and managing the business, including a petrol pump, from there.
“Bhaiyya was diabetic and had not been keeping well for many days. His condition deteriorated and he died at night. We do not know what exactly happened but a doctor was called and he declared him dead,” said Amit Pandey, a domestic help.
UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav visited the family around 2:10 pm. Later, district magistrate Raj Shekhar was called inside the house. According to sources, Akhilesh asked the DM to get a post-mortem examination done. A forensic team arrived at 3 pm and the body was taken for an autopsy.
Champa Yadav, wife of Shailesh’s elder brother Kamlesh, said, “He was diabetic. He had food at night and went to sleep. We came to know about his death around 6 am. He died of brain haemorrhage.” She did not comment on whether a doctor had been called.
“We came to know about the incident in the morning, but the official information about his death was given to us around 2 pm only,” Katiyar said. Asked about Shailesh being on the run, Katiyar said he had no information about any operation by the Madhya Pradesh Police.
Several leaders of the Congress and the Samajwadi Party also visited the family.
Ram Krishna Dwivedi, a senior Congress leader and a family friend of the governor, said, “Unlike his brothers, Shailesh kept away from politics and lived mainly in Lucknow.”
Congress MLA Rita Bahuguna Joshi, who visited the family, said after coming out of the house, “People are saying he died at night.”
Meanwhile in MP, the Congress, the main opposition party, demanded a CBI probe. Leader of Opposition Satyadev Katare said a the probe should be ordered because the governor’s son was an accused and his death took place under doubtful circumstances. Katare has written to chief ministers of UP and MP with a request in this regard.