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Murder case: Maya suspends SP, dismisses 3 cops

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
December 31, 2008 19:51 IST
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In her bid to ward off the common impression that her administration was doing a wishy-washy job in the murder of a PWD engineer by a ruling Bahjan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Wednesday ordered suspension of Auraiya district superintendent of police Ekramul Haque and dismissal of three other cops for their alleged complacence in the case.

 Manoj Kumar Gupta , an executive engineer in the state Public Works Department (PWD) was beaten to death by ruling Bahuijan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Shekhar Tiwari in Auraiya town of central Uttar Pradesh on December 24.

 Following loud public outcry and widespread media criticism, the MLA was arrested even though his name was cleverly avoided in the FIR. Subsequently, stringent laws like NSA and Gangster's Act were also slapped on him.

 "The district SP has been suspended for dereliction of duty , while the services of Dibiyapur police station house officer (SHO) Hoshiar Singh and the two gunners  -- Pal Singh and Gajraj Singh -- provided to the MLA for personal security have been terminated with immediate effect," state police chief Vikram Singh told a press conference.

."There was sufficient reason to believe that these three other policemen were directly involved in the murder , therefore they have been booked both for murder (under section 302 IPC) and for criminal conspiracy (under section 120-B IPC)," he said.

Significantly, SP Ekramul Haque had proceeded on leave just a day before the sensational killing and he resumed his duty the very day after the murder .

 Asked if the hasty dismissal of the cops without even a preliminary inquiry would not weaken the administration's case against them thereby enabling them to easily get reprieve from courts , a senior government official said, "Well, we had to act fast to send the message loud and clear that the government meant business."

 Even the Opposition felt that the action was taken only to help the culprits to get easily bailed out.

"It is quite evident that such a summary dismissal would make it convenient for each of the cops to get reinstated with a judicial intervention," remarked state Congress president Rita Bahuguna Joshi.

State Samajwadi Party acting president Shivpal Yadav went a step further, 'I am sure this is part of a larger preemptive design of a legal mind to actually save the culprits – by putting up a façade of prompt action that was bound to be shot down by any court."

See also: What happened?

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow