Home India Politics BSP leader manipulating engineer’s murder case, says witness

BSP leader manipulating engineer’s murder case, says witness


Lucknow : Uttar Pradesh’s ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Shekhar Tiwari, prime accused in the 2008 murder of a Public Works Department (PWD) official in Auraiya, had tried to influence proceedings in the case through threats and intimidation, a key witness said Wednesday.

PWD executive engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta was lynched Dec 24, 2008, allegedly by Auraiya legislator Shekhar Tiwari because he declined to meet repeated demands for contributions towards Chief Minister Mayawati’s birthday collections.

Five of the seven witnesses in the case have turned hostile.

But not Gupta’s predecessor C.D. Rai, who told the additional sessions judge here that he was being threatened and told to toe the line of the legislator, who is imprisoned at the Auraiya jail and moved an application for bail Wednesday.

Rai told the court here: “Shekhar Tiwari always tried to pressurise engineers to award contracts to his chosen men and he was given his cut in every contract.”

Tiwari had been a frequent visitor to the local PWD office even during his tenure and “was known for manipulating major government contracts”, Rai said.

Describing Gupta as a “tough engineer, who believed in being forthright”, Rai went on to add: “R.K. Bajpai, who was one of Tiwari’s favourite contractors, had rung me up a day before Gupta’s murder complaining that Gupta had held back his payment.”

Special public prosecutor I.B. Singh has been repeatedly accusing Tiwari of tampering with the evidence and using his henchmen to intimidate different witnesses in the case. In his view, five of the seven witnesses examined by the court had turned hostile because of “Tiwari’s undue influence and coercion”.

“My party is not a party supported by industrial houses and affluent businessmen like the Congress and Samajwadi Party; therefore it has been an established practice in our party to collect funds on the respective birthdays of party founder Kanshi Ram and my own,” Chief Minister Mayawati had said.