Bihar engineer ‘missing’ after opposing graft

March 2nd, 2011 - 7:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Patna, March 2 (IANS) A Bihar government engineer is reportedly missing after he refused to allow crores of rupees to be withdrawn illegally from a national road construction scheme, his family alleged Wednesday.

Surendra Kumar Singh, an executive engineer with the rural works department in Muzaffarpur, about 70 km from here, is missing for four days. Before his disappearance, Singh had told his family of tremendous pressure from by powerful people, including contractors and officials, to withdraw Rs.52 crore illegally without completion of roads under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojna (PMGSY).

“We have no information about his whereabouts for the last four days. He told me that his life was in danger for not helping powerful people to withdraw crores of rupees illegally without building roads under PMGSY,” Sikha Devi, the engineer’s wife said.

“We are praying for his safe return,” Sikha told IANS over telephone.

She said that her husband was being repeatedly threatened.

“My husband was against withdrawal of the money. He told them that he will not allow it till he is alive,” she said.

A close relative of the missing engineer, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that despite top district officials, including the police, being informed, nothing was done till the case was highlighted by the local media Wednesday.

Muzaffarpur Senior Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar said: “I have asked a DSP (deputy superintendent of police) to look into the case and provided security to Sikha after she sought it fearing a threat to her family.”

S.M. Raju, divisional commissioner of Tirhut range, said that police was taking the case seriously but did not comment on the family’s allegation of inaction by the district administration.

Rajeshwar Mishra, a leader of the Bihar government engineers’ association, urged the state government to trace Singh and order a high-level probe into the case.

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