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'UP engineer was given electric shocks'

By Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow
January 02, 2009 22:42 IST
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Arrested ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) MLA Shekhar Tiwari on Friday confessed that he had beaten and tortured PWD executive engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta until he succumbed to his wounds in the early hours of December 24 in Auraiya in central Uttar Pradesh.

Additional director general of police (law and order) Brij Lal told reporters this evening, "During the course of interrogation , Shekhar Tiwari gave a detailed account of the entire sequence of events on the fateful day."

According to Lal, "While admitting that he had beaten Gupta to death because of the latter's refusal to cooperate in clearing bills related to works undertaken by the MLA's henchmen, Tiwari narrated how he broke into the engineer's house around 3 am on December 24 when he pulled him out and took him to the Gas Authority of India Ltd. (GAIL) Guest House, where the MLA had been camping.'

He said, "Tiwari confessed that he was drunk and not only thrashed Gupta with a baton, but also tortured him with electric shocks ; and on realizing that the engineer was dead, he conveniently dumped the man's body at the Dibiyapur police station ,where his stooge police inspector was told to find his own way to hush up the case.'

Almost two hours later, the inspector sent Gupta's body to the district hospital , where he was declared. "brought dead" , the official added.

Lal went on to add, "The role of Tiwari's wife too was under cloud as she was alleged to have destroyed some evidence in the Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL) guest house where the engineer was subjected to physical torture, which led to his death."

Asked if the wife too would be arrested, the official said, "Well, we have no such plan as of now but we have formally directed her to cooperate in the investigations."

Currently in police custody, Tiwari was stated to have told the cops that unlike his predecessor executive engineers who were always ready to sign on the dotted line , Gupta had become a stumbling block in getting the payments against various jobs carried out in the PWD by his goons.

Significantly, the investigating team cleverly avoided any questions related to the key issue  -- whether the extortion by the MLA was intended to meet his contribution of Rs. 50 lakh for chief minister Mayawati's birthday on January 15  -- that the victim's family has been alleging from day one.

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Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow