The deaths include accused and witnesses as well as a journalist who was investigating the story and have largely been under mysterious circumstances. The death includes the Dean of a Jabalpur Medical College Dr. Arun Sharma and the other is Aaj Tak journalist Akshay Singh, who was covering the scam. The scam involved 13 different exams conducted by Vyapam, for selection of medical students and state government employees (including food inspectors, transport constables, police personnel, school teachers, dairy supply officers and forest guards). The exams were taken by around 3.2 million students.
Cases of irregularities in these entrance tests had been reported since the mid-1990s, and the first FIR was filed in 2000. However, until 2009, such cases were not thought to be part of an organized ring. When major complaints surfaced in the pre-medical test (PMT) in 2009, the state government established a committee to investigate the matter. The committee released its report in 2011, and over a hundred people were arrested by the police.
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