TV journalist Akshay Singh, who died while covering the Vyavsayik Pareeksha Mandal (Vyapam) scam on Saturday, was cremated at the Nigam Bodh Ghat in the national capital on Sunday in the presence of friends and family members. His last rites were also attended by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Satish Upadhyay.
Journalists and politicians took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to condemn the death of the young journalist and also demanded an impartial probe into his death and the Vyapam scam case.
“Pained to meet the mother, father and sister of Akshay Singh. My prayers are with them in this time of terrible grief: Rahul Gandhi,” the Congress leader&’s official Twitter handle posted after he attended the last rites of the deceased journalist.
Late on Saturday night, Rahul&’s Twitter handle also posted: “Deeply anguished at the untimely death of journalist Akshay Singh who was investigating the Vyapam scam in MP. My condolences to his family.”
Akshay was working with the TV Today group as a special correspondent since December 2013. His colleague and TV Today group&’s consulting editor Rajdeep Sardesai also expressed his views through a series of tweets.
“Simple demand of all journalist orgns (organisations) in Akshay Singh death. MP govt must forthwith send viscera report to AIIMS. #Vyapam,” Sardesai tweeted.
Akshay was on a reporting assignment in Madhya Pradesh, investigating the Vyapam scam for the past four days. He was rushed to a civil hospital and later to a private hospital in Jhabua on Saturday night when he suddenly started frothing at the mouth after he finished interviewing the parents of Namrata Damor, whose dead body was found near a railway track in Ujjain district. Her death occurred after her name appeared in connection with the Vyapam scam.
As the doctors could not retrieve him in both the hospitals, he was taken to another hospital in nearby Dahod in Gujarat and was declared brought dead.
Demanding a fair probe into the case, Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Ashutosh said, “Vyapam is monstrous. It can only be investigated by SIT, monitored by the Supreme Court (SC) and the case be heard outside MP to find out conspirators/big fishes.”
“Vyapam has reached the CM&’s office and the governor&’s house. It’s much bigger than we think. MP has a history of serial killing in big cases,” Ashutosh added.
Kejriwal also asked for a thorough investigation in the case. He tweeted, “Vyapam scam n (and) all deaths so far ought to be thoroughly investigated. Guilty must be punished. Something MUST be done to prevent more deaths.”
At a press conference, talking to media persons, AAP leader Dilip Pandey said, "AAP MPs will raise this matter in Parliament in its monsoon session starting July 21."
A day after Akshay&’s death, Dr. Arun Sharma, Dean of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose Medical College, Jabalpur, was found dead in a southwest Delhi hotel under mysterious circumstances. He was suspected of having links with some accused of the scam.
“Dr Arun Sharma, Dean of Jabalpur Medical College (was) found dead in a Delhi hotel. His father NK Sharma was a minister, MP and MPCC president. I pay homage to him and convey condolences to his family,” senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh tweeted.
“Incidentally, Dr Sakalle, earlier Dean of Medical College, Jabalpur, was found dead burnt in his residence lawns at 7:30 am two years ago,” Singh said in another tweet.
The Vyapam scam is a massive admission and recruitment racket involving several officials, businessmen, and politicians.So far, at least 25 accused and witnesses related to the case have died, including Shailesh Yadav, son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav.