"There must be a CBI probe. It is not a coincident that all the accused are dying of one ailment or another. There is something more to it," Prashant Pandey, a forensic expert, who blew the whistle on the scam, told reporters.

Pandey said he fears for his own life after becoming the whistleblower. A total of 25 accused and witnesses, including the son of Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram Naresh Yadav, Shailesh, have died so far in the high-profile Madhya Pradesh Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam, also known as Vyapam scam.

"There is a cover-up by the high and mighty in the state government. There has to be a probe by a third party which is independent of state's interference," the whistleblower added.

Pandey, a digital forensics expert from Indore has been provided a guard by the state police in view of threat to his life. A Madhya Pradesh High Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) is supervising the probe by the state's Special Task Force (STF) into the scam, in which the role of some senior state government officials and politicians has come under the scanner.

Chief of the SIT Justice (Retd) Chandresh Bhushan refused to speak about the action being taken in the case. "I cannot say anything on the phone," Bhushan told reporter when asked whether the SIT would take cognizance of the deaths. Madhya Pradesh government has accused Pandey of 'playing into the hands of people with political affiliation'.

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