Engineer’s lynching provokes Samajwadi party’s shutdown call

December 24th, 2008 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 24 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh’s main opposition Samajwadi Party has called for a statewide shutdown Thursday after a ruling Bahujan Samaj party (BSP) legislator was named in a police case for lynching a government engineer.Party leaders here Wednesday told reporters the shutdown was called to protest the “lawlessness” in the state.

BSP legislator Shekhar Tiwari was arrested near Kanpur in the evening after he and his supporters lynched M.K. Gupta, an engineer with the public works department (PWD), in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district allegedly after he refused to pay extortion for Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday celebrations.

The state administration said the incident had no connection with Mayawati.

Tiwari and his muscle-men had allegedly barged into Gupta’s house around 2 a.m. Wednesday, locked up his wife in the bathroom and thrashed the engineer to death after stripping him.

Around 5 a.m., Tiwari carried a severely injured Gupta to the nearest police station and told the police to register a case against the engineer for “indulging in hooliganism”.

The police, however, took him to hospital around 7 a.m. where he was declared dead.

Every year on Jan 15, the BSP supremo holds a big birthday bash and party leaders at various levels are reportedly directed to make their assigned contributions, which Mayawati has openly admitted in the past.

In Lucknow, Samajwadi Party leaders told a press conference that state legislators and ministers have been asked to donate specific amounts for the chief minister’s birthday.

“For example, Naseemuddin Siddiqui has to pay Rs.15 crore (Rs.150 milion), Nakul Dubey has to give Rs.5 crore, Satish Mishra Rs.20 crore and Ram Achal Rajbhar has to give Rs.5 crore,” Samajwadi Party state president Shivpal Yadav said.

“The contribution has been fixed depending upon the ministry and post enjoyed by the legislators and MPs,” Yadav said.

The Uttar Pradesh Engineers’ Association declared an indefinite strike to protest the killing.

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