Lucknow: The latest killing of accountant Mahendra Sharma of Uttar Pradesh Health Department on Thursday has raised concerns of the CBI regarding the security of the employees and the witnesses of the multi-crore NRHM scam. The Central Bureau of Investigation has asked the state police to ensure their security.

READ MORE:NRHM scam: Health official choked to death

The battered body of Mahendra Sharma, a resident of Lakhimpur Khiri, found in a pool of blood has escalated fears of threat to the life of those connected with the bungling in NRHM scheme. However, the CBI claims that Mahendra was never called for interrogation and his murder may not be linked to the scam.

According to the CBI, more than four dozen officials and employees of the NRHM have been questioned in the alleged bungling of over Rs 10,000 crore of the funds provided by the Centre.

Seventh death in NRHM case

Another suicide by a Delhi based trader Sardar Ranjit Singh in a Lucknow hotel on Thursday night within 24 hours of the death of clerk Mahendra Singh has worsened the case. It is to be noted, the CBI had questioned him for two hours in the NRHM case after which he committed suicide by consuming sleeping pills, leaving behind a two-page suicide note.

Earlier, five officers died under unusual circumstances.

Police puzzled on Mahendra’s murder
The police failed to trace 52-year-old Sharma who was reported missing since February 7. Although the post-mortem report confirmed his death that has been caused by smothering, the police are yet to confirm it as a murder or a suicide. Sharma was working under Janani Suraksha Yojana at present but was earlier associated with the NRHM scheme.

Mahendra’s death due to victimization?

The relatives of Mahendra Singh have accused the officials of the Health Department of victimizing him. Mahendra’s wife, Mithilesh Sharma said, “He was depressed due to multiple transfers and irregular salary.”
According to Mahendra’s son, his father was constantly pressurised to sign certain papers due to which he was under extreme stress.

Opposition furious

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra accused the state government of being involved in the massive scam and misusing the funds granted for the health mission.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The NRHM corruption has surfaced in the last seven-eight years and the current Mayawati government and previous regime of Mulayam Singh are responsible for it.”