Nearly two weeks since the decomposed body of Saurabh Kumar, a 31-year-old engineer who was allegedly murdered in Kharagpur by politically affiliated mafia members, was found in his Kharagpur rail quarters, his family members met Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar to demand a proper probe into the murder.
Meanwhile, Saurabh’s friends in Kolkata said they wanted to meet Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and put forward their demands for justice, not just for Kumar, but other engineers working in the state as well.
Saurabh, whose decomposed body was found dead on September 22 in his Kharagpur rail quarters, had sustained number of head injuries. His family alleged that his death was not investigated for 10 days and after the post-mortem report was deemed “inconclusive”, the police took little action.
A campaign on social media by Kumar’s family and friends demanding for justice, as well as a CBI probe into the matter led to a tweet by Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on October 2 seeking a “complete police investigation” into the matter. Following this, the police registered a case of murder 10 days after his death.
Saurabh’s friend, Amresh Kumar, who works in Kolkata and is among those behind the ‘Justice for Saurabh’ campaign on social media, said, “His family members met Ram Vilas Paswan in Bihar. We are also keen to meet Mamata Banerjee to make our demands known. This is not a problem faced only by Saurabh, but engineers across the board. It’s so difficult to crack the exams and then get a job as an engineer. But when you do, there are other pressures from the local mafia and politicians and if you don’t bow down to them, it seems that you’re killed.”
An engineering graduate from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Sindri near Dhanbad, Kumar worked as a store supervisor for the Indian Railways at the Kharagpur depot. He had the authority to pass (or reject) tenders for scrap metal sale and other railway works.
Amresh alleged that he had repeatedly spoken about being under pressure, and particularly from the local scrap metal mafia regarding clearing a tender. “Saurabh, an honest officer, refused to yield. A few days later, he was found dead,” he said.