Minister Clarifies After Mocking Journalist Who Died Probing Vyapam Scam

DoThe Best
By DoThe Best July 6, 2015 10:07

Minister Clarifies After Mocking Journalist Who Died Probing Vyapam Scam

A minister in Madhya Pradesh has been accused of appalling insensitivity after appearing to mock a journalist who died on Saturday while investigating the Vyapam recruitment scam. “What journalist? Is he bigger than us?” said Kailash Vijayvargiya on Sunday.

Mr Vijayvargiya later tried to backtrack, saying it was just a “casual” remark. As part of his attempts at damage control, he has decided to visit the journalist’s family this morning.

“That was not what I had to say. I was merely sharing a casual remark to the ABP reporter who was standing there -whom I knew very well. So I told him, have you become a bigshot if you’ve become a journalist? I’m very sad, and the people who have twisted my comments, I say this to you: My feelings have been hurt but think of Ajay’s family, their feelings,” the minister said on Sunday evening.

Senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, who has been demanding a larger investigation into the Vyapam scam and the unusual number of deaths since it surfaced in 2012, tweeted: “Kailash Vijayvargiya’s comment on journalists is condemnable. It exposes his ego. He should apologise to journalists.”

The journalist, Akshay Singh, is among 33 people to die mysteriously in connection with the scam that involves politicians and bureaucrats allegedly accepting kickbacks in exchange for allowing imposters to take the recruitment exam for government jobs and admission to colleges.

Akshay Singh died suddenly when he was in Jhabua, speaking to the family of a girl named in the scam. Witness accounts suggest the 38-year-old journalist started frothing at the mouth and collapsed while talking to the girl’s father. A doctor had said that he died of a heart attack, but Delhi’s AIIMS hospital is now handling a medical investigation into how he died.

DoThe Best
By DoThe Best July 6, 2015 10:07
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