Four months after his elder son started working as a doctor at a leading hospital in Gwalior, Narayan Singh Bhadoriya decided that his life had finally turned the corner.
After 20 years of working as a private security guard to feed his family and fund his children’s studies, he quit. Two suicides later — his elder son first, his distressed wife soon after — the 67-year-old looks lost and defeated.
A few kilometres away, Deepak Golaria is still searching for answers. He wants to know why his brother called him that morning, asking for Rs 3,000 “urgently” and hours later, jumped off a bridge, leaving behind a note that mentioned the “PMT scam”.
The names of Dr Ramendra Singh Bhadoriya and Lalit Kumar Golaria do not figure on the Madhya Pradesh government’s list, released last month, of deaths of accused linked to the Vyapam admissions and recruitment scam.
But they figure prominently on a separate list, which was drawn up by Gwalior police when they were probing the scam. The families of both said that they took the “extreme step” after their names were linked to Vyapam.
‘He used to have anxiety attacks’
Dr Ramendra Singh Bhadoriya, 29
Cause of death: Suicide
Dr Ramendra Singh Bhadoriya was found hanging from a ceiling fan at his home in Gwalior’s Khanchmil mohalla on the morning of January 8, a pillow cover over his face and a TV cable wire around his neck.
Devastated by the death of her elder son, Ramendra’s mother Kusma Devi, 58, killed herself five days later by consuming acid, leaving behind his 67-year-old father Narayan Singh Bhadoriya in their one-room house with bare brick walls, a small verandah and a leaking roof.
Ramendra worked at the Birla Hospital in the district, while studying to clear his post-graduation entrance exam — his name was on the list of successful candidates when the results were declared three weeks after his death.
Gwalior police concluded that he committed suicide due a failed love affair with a colleague he had planned to marry.
Narayan said that his son had planned to marry in September but said that was not the reason for the suicide. He added that Ramendra was depressed after the college where he studied for his MBBS degree withheld his school marks certificate. The college also issued a suspension order against Ramendra after he had completed his course, Narayan alleged.
Gwalior police records list Ramendra as an accused facing charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating in the Pre-Medical Entrance Test (PMT).
Police initially said Ramendra was an impersonator who appeared as a proxy candidate in the PMT for others.
Later, he was accused of having been a beneficiary himself of the “proxy system” in 2008, when he had cleared the test after four failed attempts and joined the Gajra Raja Medical College in Gwalior, a senior police officer said.
In April 2014, Ramendra was issued a showcause notice by the college based on the police case.
“My son suffered a lot of mental torture. He was first accused of being an impersonator (in the scam). He was then made to sign on some documents. Then, the college refused to give him the original documents that he had submitted when he gained admission there. It was after this that he took the extreme step,” alleged Narayan.
When contacted, an official at the college registrar’s office said the college had retained the documents because investigations were still on in the case related to Ramendra. The official refused to speak further, saying the “matter is with the police”.
Ramendra, meanwhile, started work at the Birla Hospital in June 2014, based on the MBBS degree he received from Jiwaji University. But Narayan said his son slipped into depression because he feared that he wouldn’t get an admission for a PG course without producing the original documents including the marks certificate.
“He used to have anxiety attacks and went on medication. This is when things went out of control,” said Narayan, adding that he will now move in with his younger son, who is working with the state horticulture department.
‘Someone was extorting money’
Lalit Kumar Golaria, 28
Cause of death: Suicide
In the last call he made, to his elder brother, he “urgently” demanded a sum of Rs 3,000. Hours later, he was found dead on the banks of the Sank river under a bridge in Morena district’s Noorabad.
Local police concluded that Lalit Kumar Golaria, a final-year student of Gajra Raja Medical College in Gwalior, had committed suicide by jumping off the bridge on January 16.
His family claimed that he had left behind a note in which he wrote that he was committing suicide “due to the PMT scam” and added that “no one is to be blamed”.
Lalit’s name now figures on a list prepared by Gwalior police of unnatural deaths linked to the admission and recruitment scam — incidentally, the warrant for Lalit’s arrest last year was first addressed to his dead father.
Deepak Golaria, a private sector employee, who received that last call from Lalit, said that he suspected that his brother took the “extreme step” after he became the victim of an extortion bid. “Two weeks before his death, he had demanded Rs 10,000 and Rs 8,000 from us on two separate occasions. We gave him the money. We suspect someone was extorting money from him. Otherwise, why would someone kill himself for Rs 3,000?” asked Deepak.
“Something went wrong that morning. His suicide note said he was committing suicide due to the PMT scam. He didn’t know how to swim, he always feared water,” he added.
“Gwalior police said they didn’t have the postmortem report. When we applied for the report, we found out that it was filed in Morena district. The report said he had consumed excess water while drowning,” he said.
Lalit, a 2006-batch medical student, cracked the PMT in his third attempt. He got married three years later to Rachna and the couple had a son Chandrakant, who is now four years old. “They had marital problems two years after the marriage and stayed separately. Lalit stayed with us, and his wife at her parents’ home,” Deepak said. Rachna refused to speak about Lalit or his death.
According to police records, Lalit’s name popped up on the third list of students alleged to have obtained “fake admissions” through the PMT.
Asked about Lalit’s arrest on June 19, 2014, Deepak said: “They (Gwalior police) first sent an arrest warrant against my dead father. Then, they wanted us to prove that he was dead, and we had to produce a death certificate. It was after that they arrested Lalit and put him behind bars for three months.”