Bihar government engineer sets contractor on fire over bribe
A chief engineer of Bihar’s water resources department allegedly killed a contractor, who refused to pay him a bribe, by setting him on fire in Gopalganj district late on Thursday, police said.
According to police, chief engineer Murlidhar Singh demanded a bribe of Rs 15 lakh from Rama Shankar Singh to release the payment of Rs 60 lakh due to him from the water resources department. They said Rama Shankar Singh was given the contract to build the official residence of the chief engineer and other houses at a cost of Rs 2.20 crore.
The son of the 55-year-old Rama Shankar Singh, Rana Pratap Singh, lodged a first information report or FIR against the department’s chief engineer, executive engineer, assistant engineer and four others with the Town police station.
Officials said Rama Shankar Singh went to Murlidhar Singh’s house on Thursday evening to demand the money, which led to a tiff and he was burnt under mysterious circumstances. The contractor died on way to Gorakhpur due to severe burn injuries.
A team of police forensic experts rushed to the spot after receiving information and sealed the chief engineer’s house in the presence of a magistrate. Police also collected a half-burnt bed, a pair of jeans and a T-shirt from the spot.
Police have neither ruled out the possibility of murder nor suicide in this case. Gopalganj’s superintendent of police Rashid Zaman said he has constituted a special investigation team to probe the case.
“We have got many things through the statements of the locals and deceased family members but as of now, everything is under verification. It is too early to reach any conclusion. The body was sent for a post-mortem examination,” Zaman said.
“We are probing into various angles into the case,” the SP added.
The cause of death will also be ascertained once the postmortem examination report is received, he said.
The news of his death led to tension in Gopalganj and markets remained closed in protest of the murder. Locals also blocked National Highway-28 near Yadavpur and disrupted traffic, demanding the immediate arrest of the accused in the case.