Uday Chaudhary, one of the three accused in the murder of National Highway Authority of India engineer Satyendra Dubey, on Monday escaped from the Patna civil court premises during production for the second time in 18 months.
Exposing laxity on the part of accompanying police personnel, Uday, accused in the murder of Dubey who was killed in 2003 allegedly for blowing the whistle on corruption and other malpractices in execution of the ambitious Golden Quadrilateral Project, slid his oversized handcuff down and escaped.
Police sources quoting another accused in the case Pinku Ravidas, said the accused slid the handcuff down his wrist outside the court of Special CBI Judge BK Srivastava where they were taken for production and escaped before the policemen guarding them could take notice.
"I saw him run towards the Ganga river on the backside of the court complex and then he vanished," Pinku told reporters.
Earlier in December 2006, Uday had given the police the slip in a similar fashion.
In September 2005, another accused Mantu Kumar too had escaped from the court while in judicial custody.
Though both were re-arrested about a month after their escape, the trial in the case, already moving at a snail's pace, was then halted.
Two other suspects in the murder Shivnath Sah and Mukhendra Paswan had earlier died in mysterious circumstances and the CBI, which investigated the case, claimed they committed suicide.
Dubey, who was NHAI project manager supervising construction of the 60 km stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral Project between Baracatti and Aurangabad, was shot dead at Gaya on the night of November 27 2003, when he was on way to house from the railway station.
As the murder came barely months after he had written to the Prime Minister's office about the alleged corrupt practices of official-supplier nexus in the execution of the project which was leaked, the government, suspecting involvement of those against whom Dubey had pointed an accusing finger in the crime, ordered a CBI probe.
CBI, however, later concluded that the whistle-blower was killed by petty criminals in the course of robbery.
Meanwhile, Patna Senior Superintendent of Police Amit Kumar said, a manhunt has been launched to apprehend Uday Chaudhary, a native of Katari village in Gaya district.