Supporters of BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari allegedly lynched an executive engineer of the Uttar Pradesh Public Works Department (PWD), M.K. Gupta, in the state’s Auraiyya district.
Reason: he had reportedly turned down their demand for a huge sum of money. The Opposition in UP alleged the MLA was collecting money for the birthday celebrations of Chief Minister Mayawati, a charge the state government has strongly denied. Tiwari was later arrested. Murder most foul
According to the police, half a dozen supporters of the MLA barged into the house of the engineer late on Tuesday and started beating him up. They then dragged him out and took him to an undisclosed location. Gupta’s wife, Shashi Gupta, told the police that the criminals had ordered her to go to the bathroom.
Additional Director General of Police (Law & Order) Brijlal told reporters that Tiwari brought Gupta to the Debiyapur police station around 3.30 a.m. in an unconscious condition, dropped him there, and escaped. “The motive for the murder is not known,” he added. The victim
The police have registered a murder case against Tiwari and two of his accomplices, identified only as Tyagi and Bhatia. Later in the evening, the MLA appeared at the Mati police station in Kanpur and handed himself over to the law.
Commenting on the murder, state Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh said: “It is a criminal case and should not be politicised. And no political influence will come in the way of justice.”
Meanwhile, Mayawati has offered financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh and a government job to the slain executive engineer’s wife. Shekhar Singh added that adequate security had been provided to the family.
Reports from Auraiyya said Gupta had sought police protection because of repeated demands for money from Tiwari. But the police did not pay any heed to the request.
Samajwadi Party (SP) working president Shivpal Singh Yadav flayed the BSP for its massive money collection drive all over the state. The SP has called for a UP bandh on Thursday.
“The chief minister has set a target of Rs 1,000 crore to be collected as ‘Birthday Tax’ for her birthday on January 15,” Yadav alleged. Ministers, MPs, MLAs and officers had each been allocated a target, and this, he claimed, was what led to the murder.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh and BJP’s Ravi Shankar Prasad also condemned the murder.