Uttar Pradesh engineer lynched by BSP legislator, supporters (Lead)

December 24th, 2008 - 5:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Bahujan Samaj PartyLucknow, Dec 24 (IANS) An engineer was lynched by a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator and his supporters in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district after he refused to pay an alleged extortion demand for the birthday celebrations of Chief Minister Mayawati, police said Wednesday. An FIR has been filed against the lawmaker. “Supporters of BSP legislator Shekhar Tiwari picked up M.K. Gupta, an engineer with the Public Works Department (PWD), from his residence in Gail Vihar locality of Auraiya Tuesday night,” Additional Superintendent of Police Swareshwar Mishra told IANS over telephone.

“After holding Gupta captive and subjecting him to physical torture for several hours, the legislator and the supporters left the critically injured engineer at Divyapur police station at around 3 a.m. today (Wednesday) and fled. Gupta died while he was being taken to hospital,” Mishra said.

Auraiya is some 250 km from Lucknow.

Said state police chief Vikram Singh: “Tiwari has been found involved in the entire incident. An FIR has been lodged against two contractors.”

However, Mishra confirmed that besides the two contractors, “Tiwari has also been named in the FIR lodged by Gupta’s family members”.

“According to our information, Tiwari told the police that he (Gupta) is a goon and asked them to send him to jail after a medical examination,” said Additional Director General of Police (Crime, Law and Order) Brijlal.

According to Gupta’s brother, Sharad Gupta, the engineer was being pressurised to shell out a hefty amount for Mayawati’s birthday celebrations.

“On earlier occasions also, Tiwari visited his house a number of times, demanding money. But my brother expressed inability in giving the money and his refusal led to this incident,” Sharad told reporters.

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 often in the past has openly admitted.

No arrests have been made in connection with the killing so far and Tiwari was unavailable for comment.

The Uttar Pradesh Engineers’ Association, meanwhile, has declared an indefinite strike to protest Gupta’s killing.

“We have received similar complaints from other engineers from various districts and they say that legislators are threatening them and demanding money. We will resume work only after the legislator and his supporters are arrested and the government promises to ensure a fearless environment for us to work in the state,” said association president A.Q. Farooqui.

The Samajwadi Party, in a press conference, disclosed the alleged amount legislators and ministers in the state government have been asked to donate 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,” alleged Samajwadi Party state president Shivpal Yadav.

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

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