Lucknow, May 7 (IANS) A former chief medical officer was arrested early Monday by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the murder of two of his colleagues and the Rs.5,000 crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh.
Dr. A.K. Shukla, who was earlier arrested for his alleged role in the scam and later released on bail, was arrested here at around 2 a.m.
CBI sources told IANS that they had "specific leads and evidence" against Shukla, and they were trying to piece together the puzzle leading to the killing of two former CMOs Vinod Arya and B.P. Singh in quick succession.
There have been a series of high-profile murders, including that of the two CMOs, one deputy CMO and half a dozen other clerical staff, related to the multi-crore-rupee scam in which many ministerial colleagues of former chief minister Mayawati were also allegedly involved.
The first death in this ominous case took place Oct 27, 2010 when the then CMO for Family Planning and Medical Health, Dr Vinod Arya, was shot dead while he was out for a morning walk. His successor, Dr. B.P. Singh, was also killed in a similar fashion April 2, 2011.
Ballistic reports confirmed that both CMOs were killed with the same gun. While the present Samajwadi Party legislator Abhay Singh was named in the killings, deputy CMO Dr. Y.S. Sachan, who briefly held the charge of CMO, was also named in the case but he too died mysteriously inside the prison.
Though the then Mayawati government initially declared it as a suicide, autopsy report and a subsequent judicial magistrate probe established that it was a cold-blooded murder.
Dr. A.K. Shukla's name had surfaced in the case earlier too, and he was finally arrested last year but released on bail. He has now been arrested for the second time after the Allahabad High Court rapped the CBI for tardy progress in the investigations.