Murder in Uttarakhand confirms capitation fee racket for medical college’ admissions

Dehradun: While mystery shroud the death of a former personal secretary-cum-PRO of Uttarakhand agriculture minister Harak Singh Rawat, it has revealed what had been doing the rounds in hushed tones here that money changes hand in the admission of students into the MBBS and MD courses of two medical colleges in the city.Murder in Uttarakhand confirms capitation fee racket for medical college’ admissions

The body of Yudhvir Singh Rawat, former PRO of the state minister, bearing injury marks was found near an ashram in Rajpur in the early hours of morning. The police who were informed of the body reached the spot and took it into their custody. Two mobile phones and a bank draft of Rs five lakhs in the name of one medical college were found on the person of the deceased, who was later identified as a former PRO of the minister.

Though the police are still working upon the case, but what has confounded them is the fact that a resident of nearby Paonta Sahib, Balraj Paul, told the police that he had given the bank draft and a sum of about Rs 15 lakhs to the deceased for the admission of his niece into the MBBS course in one of the medical colleges of the city. However, though the bank draft of Rs five lakhs was found on the person of the deceased, the Rs 15 lakhs was not found.

Even as the police remains tight-lipped into the incident, taking into consideration the high profile image of the deceased and the fact that it could open a can of worms as far as admissions into the two medical colleges are concerned, but it was being said that Yudhvir Singh was last seen near a picture hall in the city in the evening and that a socialite was with him. How he reached the ashram in Rajour, which is almost eight kms away is yet to be known for no abandoned vehicle was found.

The police is looking into the connections of the deceased, who originally hailed from the Rudrapaur area of this small mountain state, with the medical colleges in the city. Obviously, it is being concluded that if he had taken the money for admission of a girl into one of the medical colleges of the city, he perhaps had the links of getting the admission done and had done so in the last also. Or else why would he have taken the bank draft for the medical college and the cash.

While fears are being expressed that the person or persons who committed the murder were perhaps in the know of the large amount of money that the deceased had with him and killed him after taking away the money, the truth will only be known after the post mortem report is made available and a thorough investigation conducted. Investigations will also involve the medical colleges also and the link of the deceased with either one or both of them.

Meanwhile it may be mentioned here that for quite some time now there were reports that large amounts of money are changing hands for admissions into the medical colleges in the city, not only for the MBBS courses but also the MD courses in the management quota and regular seats. There were allegations that even the admission tests were being fudged and those candidates who had paid the money were making it into the merit list.

There were claims that influential persons were acting as conduits for the admission into the medical colleges and were making a hefty commission from the money that was being charged. Apparently the deceased also had the right links, having been in an important position earlier, which was why he had taken the cash along with the bank draft, which would have changed hands later. Perhaps detailed and proper investigation will blow the lid of not only the murder, but the scam.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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