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Monday, 23 January 2012

Key accused of NRHM scam commits suicide

Key accused of NRHM scam commits suicide

Lucknow, Jan 23 (PTI): A key accused in the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam, Sunil Verma, who was named in the CBI case along with former UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, allegedly committed suicide today at his residence here by shooting himself with his licenced revolver.
Police here said 52-year-old Verma shot himself at his Vikas Nagar residence around 8.30 AM. He was rushed to hospital where he was declared dead.
Verma was named in the first FIR filed in the scam relating to upgradation of 134 hospitals across Uttar Pradesh for an amount of Rs.13.4 crores by Construction and Design Services, a unit of UP Jal Nigam in which Kushwaha also figured.
The CBI had alleged the work was given to a Ghaziabad- based firm on the basis of bogus and forged documents and the construction was of inferior quality causing a loss of Rs. 5.46 crore to the exchequer.
Verma, who was NRHM Project Manager with the Construction and Design Services, was named in the FIR and searches were conducted at his residence on January 4, this year, the CBI sources said, adding that he was neither questioned in the case nor was he asked to appear for questioning.
He had been under depression after the CBI searches at his residence, family sources said. This is the fourth mysterious death related to the scam with the murder of two Chief Medical Officers (CMO) and a Deputy CMO, who was found dead inside the jail hospital here.
The Allahabad High Court had directed the CBI to inquire into the misuse of NRHM funds following these murders.
The CBI, probing the scam, has carried out searches at the houses of various officials, including bureaucrats and businessmen associated with the family welfare department.
The CAG has in a report strongly indicted the state's health and family welfare department functionaries, middlemen and contractors for allegedly guzzling Rs 5,700 crore of the Rs 8,657 crore released between 2005 and 2011 under NRHM.