The post-mortem report on Uttar Pradesh health department clerk Mahendra Sharma today said he was smothered to death. Sharma's body was found in a semi-decomposed state in Pasgawan town of Lakhimpur Kheri district on Thursday, with distinct signs of third-degree treatment.
The case has made headlines as it is the fifth death linked to the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scheme scam in the state. More than Rs5,000 crore of funds for the centrally-run scheme are alleged to have found their way into the pockets of UP health and other officials.
Sharma, 52, had been missing since 7 February. His body was found in a pool of blood in a room in the staff quarters of the local health office. Mysteriously, the room was locked from the inside.
His son Tushar alleged that he had been under pressure from the chief medical officer to sign certain files, and was suspended from service when he refused to oblige.
The CMO has earlier been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the NRHM scam.
The scam came to light when Vinod Kumar Arya, chief medical officer (CMO), family welfare, was murdered in broad daylight in October 2010. The was followed by the killing of his successor Dr B P Singh outside his home in April 2011.