Lucknow, Jan 3 (IANS) Though the Uttar Pradesh administration has repeatedly asserted that engineer M.K. Gupta was murdered due to 'underhand deals', a police inspector suspended after the murder has said the killing was due to Gupta's refusal to contribute to the fund collection drive before Chief Minister Mayawati's birthday.
In an interview to a TV news channel Saturday, suspended police inspector Hoshiar Singh attributed Gupta's death to extortion by ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) legislator Shekhar Tiwari, who was on an overdrive to 'collect funds for Mayawati's birthday'.
'The engineer's refusal to shell out the money demanded by the MLA for the chief minister's birthday led to his murder,' said Singh, who until last week held charge of the Dibiyapur police station in Auraiya district of central Uttar Pradesh where the engineer was lynched Dec 24.
The police inspector also told the TV channel that he had been compelled by his superiors to keep the legislator's name out of the first information report (FIR).
'My superiors mounted pressure on me not to mention the name of MLA Shekhar Tiwari in the FIR. I was told that his name had to be kept out under all circumstances as it would malign the image of the ruling party and the government,' added Singh, who was talking from an undisclosed location.
State police chief Vikram Singh Saturday maintained that the engineer was killed because he refused to buckle under the legislator's pressure to award contracts to his henchmen.
'The slain engineer also declined to pay extortion money to the MLA's goons,' Vikram Singh told a press conference.
He, however, could not explain the delay on the part of the police to track down four key accused in the murder - BSP Auraiya district president Yogendra Dohre alias Bhatia and three others including inspector Hoshiar Singh.
'We will get them soon,' he said.
'We have announced a reward of Rs.2,500 on Dohre, and we will soon announce a reward on the inspector also.'