LUCKNOW: Bahujan Samaj Party MLA from Auraiya, Shekhar Tewari, allegedly involved in the brutal murder of Manoj Kumar Gupta, executive engineer of the Public Works Department, was arrested near Raniya in Kanpur district late on Wednesday.
The engineer was battered to death, allegedly by the MLA and his henchmen, in his Gail Vihar colony residence at Dibiapur in Auraiya district around 1 a.m. on Wednesday.
Director-General of Police Vikram Singh told reporters in a late night press conference here that the MLA was taken to the Akbarpur police station for interrogation. Mr. Singh said the FIR named two PWD engineers, S.K. Tyagi and Tyagi, for alleged involvement in the murder. The DG said professional rivalry and dispute over commissions on contracts appeared to be the probable causes. Earlier, fearing a fallout of the incident — with all the major Opposition parties making a case of extortion against the ruling party functionaries — the State government launched damage-control measures. Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh told reporters here that an FIR was lodged against the MLA under Sections 342, 323, 457, 364 and 302 of the IPC. The government would book him under the Gangsters Act. However, charges of extortion were yet to be proved, he said.
The U.P. Engineers’ Association demanded a compensation of Rs.25 lakh for the victim’s family and security for engineers.
Reports quoting Shashi Gupta, wife of the slain engineer, said that two unidentified men entered their residence around 1 a.m. and started raining blows on her husband. When she tried to raise an alarm, she was locked up in the bathroom. When her husband was rendered almost unconscious, she said, the MLA arrived on the scene and directed his men to “dump” the engineer in the police station. They did so. Police rushed Mr. Gupta to the hospital, where he was declared brought dead around 3 a.m.
Samajwadi Party State unit president Shivpal Singh Yadav and Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee president Rita Bahuguna Joshi demanded Chief Minister Mayawati’s resignation. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Yadav said the engineer’s murder was the fallout of a massive extortion racket currently under way in the State for the Chief Minister’s birthday next month.