LUCKNOW: An Uttar Pradesh health department official missing since Feb 7 has been found dead, police said Thursday. His family has alleged the death is related to the state's multi-crore rural health scheme scam that has already claimed four officials' lives.
Mahendra Sharma, an accounting clerk in the state health department, was found lying in a pool of blood at a health centre in Lakhimpur Kheri. Police said it appeared that the official had committed suicide.
"The post-mortem examination is on," Superintendent of Police Ajit Chandra told reporters.
Sharma's family had filed a missing person report on Feb 7 after he was allegedly suspended by his senior for refusing to sign some files.
"The chief medical officer had threatened my husband to sign some files. This is what happened... as my husband refused to sigh those papers," Sharma's wailing wife was heard saying on TV channels.
Sharma's son alleged that his father's body bore injury marks on the head. "He was murdered," he claimed.
The death comes at a time when assembly elections are going on in Uttar Pradesh.
The Rs.10,000 crore National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam in Uttar Pradesh relating to alleged financial irregularities in the supply of medicines and medical equipment is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation. Earlier, two chief medical officers, a deputy chief medical officer and a project manager linked to the scam were found dead.