Seventy junior doctors and medical students accused in the Vyapam scam have requested President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday to give them bail so that they can live a dignified life and if bail is is not possible, give them permission to "commit suicide".
Languishing in Madhya Pradesh's Gwalior jail, they said they have been enduring mental agony and physical pain, and their families have been pushed to 'starvation' due to the inordinate delay in investigations into the case.
"Our situation has caused us mental and physical torture and we are getting negative thoughts such as committing suicide," the letter said, reports Hindustan Times, which claims to have accessed a copy of the letter.
They have alleged that they are being made scapegoats to protect those occupying positions at Vyapam, including its counselling committee and college admission committee.
"Although we are in prison for several months, our cases are still under trial. This delay has put our future in the dark. We are facing social and mental harassment.
"The inequality in judicial system is responsible for (the) delay in our bail. Meanwhile, the accused, who were incarcerated in Bhopal and Jabalpur Central Jail, under same sections, have been granted bail from both sessions and high court. We are in extreme mental trauma and want to commit suicide," the letter said.
The jail authorities have, however, refused to have any knowledge regarding any such letter.
"We have no information about such letter, because no letter has been sent from the jail. Maybe the accused sent the letter through their family members and visitors," said Gwalior jail superintendent Dinesh Nargave.
A series of mysterious deaths, some of those allegedly involved in the Vyapam scam, has created a furore across the country, with the Opposition demanding Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's resignation, disrupting Parliament. The admission and recruitment scam allegedly involves not just politicians, but also senior bureaucrats, apart from middlemen.
On 9 July, the Supreme Court handed over the probe into the Vyapam case to the CBI.