Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Meet the Three Whistleblowers of Vyapam Scam


Prashant Pandey, 36, is a digital forensic engineer with a two-year experience working with enforcement agencies in Madhya Pradesh. Dr Anand Rai is a medical officer with a government hospital in Indore and 26-year old Ashish Chaturvedi is a student of social work in Gwalior.

On the face of it, the three have little in common, yet their paths crossed in the same fight for justice. Today, they are the whistleblowers in the MP Vyapam scam that has claimed 36 lives so far.

Unknown to one another in the initial days of the scandal, they helped uncover different crucial aspects of it at great personal risk.

“The SSP of Bhopal came home and threatened me, saying he will register 40 cases against me if I take the name of the Chief Minister in this case,” said Prashant Pandey.

“One of the main accused, Jagdish Sagar, called me and said he will not spare me,” said Dr Rai. “I got security only after I approached the High Court but that’s only for 8 hours. Which basically means, before 11am and after 7pm, my security is in the hands of God,” he quipped.

Dr. Rai got suspicious way back in 2005 when he himself took his MD MS exams and found it strange that many who qualified were all from the same hostel block. He kept digging for evidence and after filing repeated complaints and receiving no response, finally moved to court in July 2013.

When the youngest whistleblower, Ashish Chaturvedi took his mother for cancer treatment in 2009, the lack of quality doctors triggered his investigation.  Ashish has allegedly been threatened 10 times and the one security officer provided to him by the government comes with a cycle that hardly inspires confidence.

Prashant Pandey was already assisting law enforcement agencies when he was asked to help the special task force set up to probe the Vyapam scam. He was detained by the police for a few days and his family met with an accident under suspicious circumstances this May. His grandmother is still in hospital.

Today’s Supreme Court decision to hand over the investigation to the CBI has strengthened their resolve. But they also know that their seemingly unending struggle to even get this far is just the beginning.

“We do feel vindicated but it’s just the start. You ask where we get the courage? I come from a small town and I have really struggled to get where I am. I want to expose this fraud so that the system changes,” signs off Dr Rai as he gets ready to board his flight back to Indore.

Source: NDTV, Imdb-Image, ET-Image, Hindustan times-Image

The Whistleblower 2021 (based on vyapam scam in BJP ruled MP)

The Whistleblower is a new SonyLIV original that was premiered on 16 December 2021. It recreates a fictional version of the infamous ‘Vyapam scam’, a Madhya Pradesh-based education racket that was exposed in 2013.

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