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 for the second time in 18 months.
Exposing the laxity of the policemen accompanying him, Uday, accused in the murder of Dubey, who was killed in 2003 allegedly for exposing corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral Project, slid his oversized handcuff down and escaped. Police said he gave them the slip outside the court of Special CBI Judge B K Srivastava where he was taken for production.
Pinku Ravidas, another accused in the case, said he saw Uday running towards the river Ganga behind the court complex. “Before the policemen could notice, he vanished,” Pinku told reporters.
Uday had escaped in a similar fashion in December 2006. Two other suspects in the murder—Shivnath Sah and Mukhendra Paswan—had earlier died in mysterious circumstances. The CBI, which investigated the case, said they had committed suicide.
Patna Senior SP Amit Kumar said a manhunt has been launched to apprehend Chaudhary, a native of Katari village in Gaya district. “The Gaya police have been alerted,” he said. Asked about action against policemen accompanying Uday to the court, he said, “Appropriate action will be taken.”
Dubey, who was National Highways Authority of India project manager supervising construction of the 60 km stretch of the Golden Quadrilateral Project between Barachatti and Aurangabad, was shot dead at Gaya in November 2003.
Barely a month before his murder, Dubey had written to the Prime Minister’s office about the alleged corrupt practices of the official-supplier nexus in the execution of the project. The letter, however, was leaked.
Soon Dubey received a reprimand and the Vigilance office of National Highways Authority of India officially “cautioned” him for the impropriety of writing a letter directly to the Prime minister.
In the process, it is likely that the letter may have reached the criminal elements ruling highway construction projects in Bihar.
Suspecting involvement of those against whom Dubey had pointed an accusing finger, the government had ordered a CBI probe.
The CBI, however, later concluded that petty criminals killed Dubey in the course of robbery.