Engineer dies, Bihar on the boil
Government engineers across the state went on strike on Monday demanding a CBI enquiry into the mysterious death of their colleague, Yogendra Pandey.
Pandey, 48, an executive engineer with the state’s road construction department, died after he apparently jumped off the roof of the Collectorate building at Sitamarhi, 135 km north of Patna. A suicide note too was found in his pocket. But the engineers insist he was pushed.
A few days before he died, Pandey had a furious quarrel with a local contractor, Kishore Singh. “Singh had Pandey beaten up and also threatened him with dire consequences,” said AN Jha, president, Engineering Services Coordination Committee. “We want him thoroughly investigated and brought to trial.”
Pandey had also sought police protection, which he was denied. “We want the role of the district superintendent of police, Kshatranil Singh, probed as well,” said Jha.
Jha’s family has also strongly disputed the official contention that he committed suicide. The engineers have set the government a deadline of June 24, on which a major rally is planned in the capital. If their demands are not conceded, their strike will turn indefinite.
In another fallout of Pandey’s death, state chief secretary RJ Pillai shot off a strongly worded letter to all district magistrates and superintendents of police, holding them accountable for the safety of all government servants in their district.