Lakhimpur Kheri:  The Uttar Pradesh Health Department accountant Mahendra Sharma, who was found murdered in his home, was infact smothered to death, said the autopsy report.

Ante-mortem smothering has been stated to be the cause of the death and six injuries were also detected on his body, Additional Superintendent of Police Rajiv Malhotra said.

The post mortem was conducted by a panel of three doctors and the entire process was videographed, he said.

With Sharma's death, the NRHM scam in the state turned murkier as he became the fifth victim in the last one year after the alleged bungling of over Rs.10,000 crore of central funds surfaced.

UP police found the body of Sharma lying in a pool of blood with severe injuries on his head and face, from the Pasgawan health centre area in Lakhimpur Kheri district on Wednesday’s evening.

52-year-old Sharma has been reported missing since February 7, police said.