The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Saturday carried out searches at the residential premises of former Uttar Pradesh Health Minister Anant Mishra in Lucknow and Kanpur simultaneously in connection with the mulit-crore rupee National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) scam.
The Uttar Pradesh health department had access to Rs 3,500 crores a year to provide better medical services for villages under the NRHM scheme, which is being implemented by 72 CMOs and nodal officers from other state government departments. It is alleged that much of the money for the scheme was squandered by bureaucrats and other officers who handed inflated contracts to suppliers of medicines and equipment.
The CBI is also separately investigating three high-profile murders that took place allegedly in connection to the scam. Former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Vinod Arya was gunned down on the October 27, 2010 while he was on a morning walk. Six months later, the man who replaced him, Dr BP Singh, was murdered. In June 2011, a man who had worked for them and had been arrested for their deaths, Yogendra Singh Sachan, was found dead at a Lucknow jail.
Last month, the CBI arrested former Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr AK Shukla in connection with the murder of Dr Arya.
Babu Singh Kushwaha, the minister handling the health department during the period the NRHM scam came to light and the CMOs were murdered, was forced to resign in April 2011.